Minister hits back at claims of racism

Immigration minister Beverley Hughes reacted angrily to accusations
that the government’s stance and language on asylum and immigration
is appeasing racists.

Hughes, speaking at a fringe meeting hosted by the Refugee Council,
faced criticisms over comments by the home secretary, David
Blunkett, that asylum seekers were swamping certain areas and that
ethnic minorities should speak English at home.

Delegates also said the decision to raid a mosque in order to
deport an Afghan family who had been seeking refuge there was
evidence of a lack of respect for ethnic minorities.

Hughes said she was “incandescent” at suggestions that the
government was failing to tackle unrest in areas where asylum
seekers were concentrated, particularly in deprived white

In his address to the conference Blunkett said: “Racism has not
been eliminated in the country; we still have to do more to have a
tolerant and decent society.”

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