A Tory MP has been met with fury online after he said a "vast majority" of people breaking lockdown rules are from the BAME community.
Craig Whittaker. who is the MP for the Calder Valley, told LBC’s Ian Payne this morning that Muslim and BAME communities who have not been obeying lockdown rules following the government’s shock announcements that saw a ban on different households meeting indoors in parts of northern England in response to a spike in coronavirus cases.
He said: "What I have seen in my constituency is that there are sections of the community that are not taking the pandemic seriously."
If you look at the areas where we've seen rises and cases, the vast majority – but not by any stretch of the imagination all areas - it is the BAME communities that are not taking this seriously enough.
I've been challenging our local leaders for three weeks, asking what we are doing to target these areas to let people know that this is a very serious problem. Until people take it seriously, we're not going to get rid of this pandemic.
We have areas of high multiple occupancy – when you have multiple families living in one household. It doesn't specifically have to be in the Asian community, but that is the largest proportion.
Look at the areas. You've got Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees. Bradford and Kirklees have two of the largest populations in West Yorkshire.
During the conversation, Payne clarified that he was referring to the immigrant population and the MP replied: "immigrant and Asian population."
His comments were met with disdain on social media.
One user pointed out that BAME members of society are suffering the most, according to official statistics, during this pandemic.
@LBC @ianpaynesport @CWhittaker_MP Yep the BAME, Drs and Nurse who have dispraportinatley died.. were not taking it… https://t.co/VmqAIjCgsw