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Exclusive: Theresa May makes her case to 'Voice' readers

IT'S TIME: Voters at a polling station

THE LEADERS of Britain's three main political parties have made a direct appeal to black voters outlining the case why they are the best candidate to lead the country.

Writing exclusively for The Voice, Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May, Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn and Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron have outlined how they plan to tackle some of the key issues facing black and minority ethnic (BAME) communities.

Among these are high black youth unemployment, the disproportionate use if of stop and search by police offers and discrimination in the workplace.

Theresa May, Prime Minister, Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party writes to readers:

There is one overriding question at this election: who can provide the strong leadership to get Brexit right and use it to improve the lives of ordinary working people?
 
There could not be more at stake, because getting these negotiations right is an opportunity to change Britain for the better, not just for the next five years but for the years beyond.
 
We can – and must – take this opportunity to build a Great Meritocracy, a country where we see people able to get on through their own talents no matter what their background, no matter where they’re from.
 
That is why my first act as Prime Minister was to establish an unprecedented audit of racial disparity across public services, to reveal the outcomes experienced by people of different ethnicities.
 
It will make for uncomfortable reading when the results are published in July. But a Government led by me will not shy away from those difficult truths and we will act on its findings.
 
I am determined to tackle the difficult issues in our society and also to address the concerns that have been raised with me by members of the black community.
 
We will build more affordable homes, including a new generation of fixed-term council houses to ensure there are homes available for people who need them.
 
We will strengthen the enforcement of equalities law – so that private landlords, buy-to-let investors and businesses who deny people a service on the basis of ethnicity, religion or gender are properly investigated and prosecuted.
 
We will reduce the disproportionate use of force against Black, Asian and ethnic minority people in prison, and young offender institutions, and we will legislate here too if progress is not made.
 
In the last 10 years, there has been a 43% increase in the number of people detained under the three decades old Mental Health Act, and black people are disproportionately affected.


CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Theresa May engaging with young people
 
Black people, shockingly, are three times more likely to be detained. So we will rip up the 1983 Act and replace it with a new Mental Health Treatment Bill, which will finally confront these problems, and focus on improving treatment and early intervention across the board. 
 
And we will launch a national campaign to increase the number of ethnic minority organ donors to cut the long waiting times for patients from those groups and save more lives.

People of Asian or African-Caribbean descent are three to four times more likely than white people to develop end-stage renal failure and need a kidney transplant. Yet, UK Transplant (UKT) data has shown only 3% of deceased donors are from those backgrounds.  
 
Tackling such injustice is something I have worked on throughout my political career.
 
As Home Secretary for six years, I took concrete steps to reduce the disproportionate use of ‘stop and search’, and the way it was targeted at young black men. As a black person you are now three times less likely to be searched than you were in 2010. 
 
I am truly proud of the progress we made, though we have gone nowhere near far enough. So in the next five years, if ’stop and search’ does not become more targeted and ’stop to arrest’ ratios do not improve, we will legislate to mandate changes in police practices.
 
Research suggests there is a 17 per cent pay gap for A-level educated Black, Asian and ethnic minority people and 10 per cent at degree level. This injustice of people from different ethnic groups being paid differently based purely on the colour of their skin must end.
 
So we will make large employers reveal the differences in how they pay people from different ethnic groups, as we ensured they do for women.
 
I want to build a stronger, fairer, more prosperous Britain.  It is essential for our country’s future, and the security of our children and grandchildren, that we get Brexit right. 
 
That will require leadership from a prime minister who is strong enough to stand up for Britain, and a government that is stable enough to steer the country safely through the negotiations ahead.
 
This election is a moment of huge national opportunity. Let us use it to create a country that truly works for everyone.

Read our Jeremy Corbyn exclusive on Monday 5 June at 7am and our Tim Farron exclusive on Wednesday 7 June at 7am.

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