Matt Hancock accuses Labour of 'divisive identity politics' over letter to Priti Patel

·2 min read
The Health Secretary said he abhors 'identity politics' - PIPPA FOWLES/HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock/PIPPA FOWLES/HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
The Health Secretary said he abhors 'identity politics' - PIPPA FOWLES/HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock/PIPPA FOWLES/HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Matt Hancock has attacked the Labour Party over its "divisive identity politics", after MPs accused the Home Secretary of using her race to "gaslight" black and minority ethnic communities.

The Health Secretary said that he was "incredibly proud to be part of the most diverse government in history" and insisted the Conservative Party does not "think that there's such a thing as the wrong type of BAME".

It comes after a shadow minister for community cohesion Naz Shah sent a letter to Priti Patel, referring to comments made by the Home Secretary in the Commons following the Black Lives Matter protests.

The group of 32 MPs - including Valerie Vaz, Diane Abbott and Dawn Butler - said that being a person of colour does not make Ms Patel "an authority on all forms of racism".

The Home Secretary replied by insisting that she would "not be silenced" by MPs who "continue to dismiss the contributions of those who don't conform to their view of how ethnic minorities should behave".

Mr Hancock told Thursday's Downing Street briefing: "We think that people are equal.

"And that's what we need to see, as a society, everybody is seeing others as equal. And I just hope that the debates that are rightly taking place are debates that are all about how we can promote true equality of opportunity and see everybody for the individual that they are."