Lawrence verdict alone won't stop black anger, PM is told

Jesse Jackson and Lee Jasper say coalition must include black community in policy making

Column LAST UPDATED AT 10:43 ON Wed 4 Jan 2012

DAVID CAMERON and Home Secretary Theresa May were warned by black activists this morning that there could be more riots in the summer unless they learn the lessons of the Lawrence case.

Lee Jasper, former aide to London’s previous mayor Ken Livingstone, said at a press conference that the Government had cut black consultation bodies. Unless black communities were included in policy, Cameron and May could expect a summer of discontent, he said.

Jasper also said it would be an "absolute disgrace" for the two found guilty of murder - Gary Dobson and David Norris - to be given shorter sentences this morning because they were juveniles when the killing took place. Jasper also called for three more suspects to be re-arrested.

Jasper was appearing with Jesse Jackson, the black US senator, on a platform organised by Operation Black Vote, which campaigns to increase political activism in black communities. Jackson accused the people of Eltham where Lawrence’s killers lived of "incubating” Dobson and Norris during the 19 years they were free, despite the two men being known locally as part of the gang responsible for the murder.

Jackson joined Jasper in serving notice on May and Cameron that black anger will not die down just because the two racist killers have been brought to book.

If May was thinking of fluffing up her feathers after Tuesday’s verdict to show that, under her term as Home Secretary, the Government is tough on racism, then it won't wash with Britain's black communities, said Jackson and Jasper.

Jack Straw, the former Labour Home Secretary, has been praised for changing the law to end the bar on double jeopardy to allow the two to be tried a second time for murdering Stephen Lawrence. But the political gains made under Labour for more black involvement in policy making have been thrown away by the coalition government, according to Operation Black Vote.

That is a warning that Cameron would be foolish to ignore. The Mole suspects he will have more to say on the Lawrence case next week when MPs return to Westminster after their long New Year break. ·