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May orders public service audit to reveal racial inequality

Theresa May has launched an audit of public services, to root out racial disparities and tackle inequality.

The Prime Minister has ordered Whitehall departments to identify and publish information showing how outcomes vary for people from different backgrounds in a range of areas like education, employment and health.

Mrs May said: "When I stood on the steps of Downing Street on my first day, I made clear that I believe in a United Kingdom by every definition - and that means the Government I lead will stand up for you and your family against injustice and inequality.

This audit will reveal difficult truths, but we should not be apologetic about shining a light on injustices as never before. It is only by doing so we can make this country work for everyone, not just a privileged few.

– Prime Minister Theresa May
Ethnic minorities are more likely to face racial inequality, according to a recent report. Credit: PA

Described as unprecedented by Downing Street, the audit aims to give every citizen the ability to check how their race affects the way they are treated by public services.

Data gathered from the exercise will also be used to force poor-performing services to improve.

Last week, a report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission warned that black and ethnic minority people still face "entrenched" racial inequality in Britain.

The work will be led by a new dedicated Whitehall unit, with the first data results expected to be published before summer 2017.

David Isaac, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: "I warmly welcome the Prime Minister's announcement and hope today marks the start of a whole-government approach to tackling entrenched inequality and disadvantage.

"Together we can move beyond highlighting familiar problems to delivering new solutions that can be easily monitored."