Attorney General Apologises for “Offensive” Remarks


Dominic Grieve Singled out Pakistani Community


The Attorney General has apologised for ‘causing offence’ after a remark he made aimed at the Pakistani community.


In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Conservative Dominic Grieve said, “corruption was endemic in some ethnic minority communities” and that the problem was not restricted to “any one community but was mainly referring to Pakistanis.”


Leading political figures, both from the Tories and its opponents have described the remarks as “divisive.” In a statement issued by the MP for Beaconsfield, he said, “I am very clear that integration between ethnic communities in the United Kingdom has worked well and delivered great benefits for all of us.”


“The point I was making is that, as a law officer, its my duty to ensure that the rule of law is upheld, and one of the issues that I feel requires close attention is any potential for a rise in corruption to undermine civil society. I believe this is an issue which needs to be addressed calmly and rationally. I am absolutely clear that this problem is not attributed to any one community, as I know very well from my many years promoting community cohesion.” 


“It is not my view – I believe the Pakistani community has enriched this country a great deal as I know full well from my extensive contact with the community over a number of years. I’m sorry if I have caused any offence.”


In the interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr Grieve told the reporter that ministers need to wake up to the threat of corruption in public life. “I can see many of them (South Asian Community) have come because of the opportunities that they get. But they also come from societies where they have been brought up to believe you can only get certain things through a favour culture.”


When asked if he was talking about the Pakistani community, he replied, “Yes, its mainly the Pakistani community, not the Indian community. I wouldn’t draw it down to one. I’d be wary of saying it’s just a Pakistani problem.”   


His comments have been branded as “offensive” and “ill-advised” by senior politicians as well as organisations; such as the Ramadhan Foundation. Khalid Mehmood, MP for Perry Barr said, “This is the law officer who’s made this statement and I think the Prime Minister now needs to make clear whether this is his understanding of what’s going on.”


While Qassim Afzal, for the Liberal Democrats and Chairman for the Friends of Pakistan group said, “I’m profoundly disturbed at a statement from such a senior Conservative MP against the British Pakistani community.”


Sajid Karim, MEP for the Conservative Party added, “As a member of the British Pakistani community myself, I found these comments to be offensive, divisive; I do think they were ill-advised and I’m afraid the very general way in which Dominic is trying to make the points that he is making will have the net effect of being seen as purely populist in nature.”


Mr Grieve had been echoing comments made by Baroness Warsi, in 2010, who had previously warned about widespread electoral fraud, “predominantly in the Asian Community.” 



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