London mayor Boris Johnson rejects positive discrimination

London mayor Boris Johnson has ruled out the use of positive discrimination to increase the number of black and minority ethnic (BME) officers in the Metropolitan Police Force.

Speaking exclusively to Personnel Today, Johnson urged the Met to use more positive action, employers actively encouraging people from minority groups to apply for jobs or promotion.

BME people make up just 8.3% of the Met workforce, compared with 29% of the capital’s population.

The Met’s figure has more than doubled since it was branded institutionally racist after the Stephen Lawrence inquiry 10 years ago.

Met Police HR director Martin Tiplady last year said that positive discrimination was the only way the force could acheive the same make-up as the people it serves.

But Johnson said favouring under-represented applicants was not the answer. “I like the positive bit without the discrimination – we want to be proactive and encourage positive action techniques,” he said.

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