People should be able to declare themselves ‘Black English’ on the census says Labour MP David Lammy
- Tottenham MP said absence of option showed a lack of racial equality in the UK
- ONS said tests found ‘evidence didn’t support change to include Black English’
- Census also had option for respondents to describe ethnicity in their own words
Labour MP David Lammy has said that people should be able to declare themselves ‘Black English’ on the UK census.
The Tottenham MP added that the absence of the Black English option while there was a White English option showed a lack of racial equality in the county.
But the Office for National Statistics said that they carried out tests and ‘the evidence did not support a change to include Black English in Engalnd’, according to The Times.
The institute added that there was an option which allowed respondents to use their own words to describe their ethnicity.
The Tottenham MP added that the absence of a Black English option while there was a White English option showed a lack of racial equality in the county
Lammy told the Radio Times: ‘Why can’t I describe myself or my children as English on our census form? Black British yes, English no.
‘You can be White English but you can’t be Black English.’
On March 6 Mr Lammy posted on Twitter to say: ‘The 2021 census form is a muddle.
‘In the ”ethnic category” why can’t I be both Black Carribean & English when I was born in London?
On March 6 Mr Lammy posted on Twitter about his opinions on the UK census
‘Why can’t my kids be both mixed Black & White and English (their mother was born in Northampton)? Since when do you need to be White to be English?’
An ONS spokesman told the Times it had ‘reviewed the wording of the high-level categories in the ethnicity question and, after testing different options in England and Wales, we recommended a change in the Welsh questionnaire to include Black Welsh and Asian Welsh, alongside Black British and Asian British.
‘The evidence did not support a change to include Black English in England.’
But the institute is holding a review into how the information the census gathers, which will be released from next year, will be presented.