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Coventry Councillor Joins Hague Race Row

A black Coventry councillor has condemned Tory leader William Hague for his controversial criticism of the MacPherson report into racism.

Cllr Eric Linton said the comments are “ill-judged, divisive, and insensitive” and said the Conservative party leader is “beyond contempt”.

He added that the decision to link the death of Damilola Taylor to a fall in police moral and police numbers since the MacPherson report was “a despicable and cynical attempt to exploit the tragedy of two families.”

Cllr Linton, the only black councillor on Coventry City Council and one of just five out of 56 from an ethnic minority, not including those with Irish roots, said:

“It is beyond contempt for Mr Hague to suggest that an inquiry into one racist murder should in some way lead to killing of another innocent child.

”The MacPherson report exposed levels of racism which cannot be tolerated in a just society.

“Mr Hague should be concentrating his efforts on the fight against such intolerance, instead of adding to the grief of two families in a manner that denies any compassion.”

Last month councillors in Coventry voted after a lengthy debate to adopt a five-year strategy. During the discussions Tories were accused of being racist because of Enoch Powell’s Rivers of Blood speech in 1968.

Cllr Linton (Lab, Sherbourne) added:

“It makes me angry, but most of all it fills me with despair that a man who seeks to lead this nation should prefer to score political points rather than to look at how he may make a genuine contribution to the fight against racism.”

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CWN / Politics / Coventry City Council / 19 Dec 00
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