Parliament: Home Affairs: `Annual report' on race reforms

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The Independent Online
JACK STRAW stepped up the Government's anti-racism campaign last night, stressing that he wanted a society where everyone, regardless of colour, race or religion, had an equal opportunity to succeed.

Opening the debate on the Stephen Lawrence inquiry, the Home Secretary announced that an annual report on progress in combating racism would be published.

Vowing to take personal responsibility for delivering a programme of change, Mr Straw said that a steering group set up to implement the recommendations of the Macpherson report would meet for the first time in May.

While he pledged to implement most of the 70 reforms proposed within three years, the Home Secretary renewed his "serious reservations" about proposals to allow prosecutions for racist offences that take place in private.

Sir Norman Fowler, the shadow Home Secretary, said that the murder of Stephen Lawrence, stabbed while waiting for a bus in Eltham, south- east London, was an "unnecessary tragedy" followed by a "flawed" investigation.

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