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Full marks to Lord Taylor of Holbeach. In a question about allegations by the Metropolitan Black Police Association that the Met is still drenched in racism 20 years after the Stephen Lawrence case, Lord Waddington chips in with what, even for him, is—despite the years that I've worked here, and I know this sort of thing shouldn’t surprise me any more—a jaw-dropping contribution. Lord Taylor has to frame his answer carefully and on the hoof, and all credit to him for that.

Lord Waddington: My Lords, does this not come close to the pot calling the kettle black? What could be more institutionally racist than insisting on having a black police association?

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: For my part, I am reassured that any drivers that ensure that the police more fully reflect the communities that they serve must be a good thing, so I cannot join with my noble friend in this regard. A lot of progress has been made in increasing the number of police officers from BME backgrounds but there are still too few, and there are still too few in the higher ranks of the police force. I hope that one of the considerations of the direct entry scheme will be to ensure that some of the higher levels of the policing profession are from British minority ethnic backgrounds. [Hansard]

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