Ex UK minister in Pakistani sex row

2011-01-09 21:49

London - Britain's former foreign minister faced growing accusations of racial stereotyping on Sunday after saying that gangs of Pakistani men saw young white girls as "easy meat" and were grooming them for sex.

Jack Straw - who also served as interior minister and justice minister in the previous Labour government - triggered a row on Friday when he said there was evidence of a "specific problem" in the Pakistani community.

Straw told BBC television that although most sex offenders in Britain were white, "there is a specific problem which involves Pakistani heritage men... who target vulnerable young white girls".

His comments came after the two ringleaders of a gang which raped and sexually abused vulnerable girls aged between 12 and 18 - often after plying them with alcohol or drugs - were jailed earlier in the week.

"They see these young women, white girls who are vulnerable, some of them in care... who they think are easy meat. And because they're vulnerable they ply them with gifts, they give them drugs, and then of course they're trapped," he said.

Straw was criticised on Sunday of stereotyping by charities, pressure groups and even a member of his own party over the comments.

Inflammatory

"It's totally inflammatory for him to use a phrase like that," Christine Beddoe, director of End Child Trafficking and Prostitution, told the Independent on Sunday newspaper.

Labour MP Keith Vaz, the chair of parliament's home affairs select committee, who is of Indian origin, said Straw's comments were "pretty dangerous".

"I have a lot of Pakistanis in my constituency, so does Jack Straw. I don't think this is a cultural problem," he told BBC radio. "I don't think you can stereotype an entire community."

But the far-right British National Party jumped on Straw's comments, saying on Sunday it was launching a leaflet entitled "Our Children Are Not Halal Meat" in which it would "warn school kids of the threat from Muslim sex grooming gangs".

Britain has a large ethnic Pakistani community of over one million people.

Read more on:    child abuse

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The world of reality has its limits, but the world of imagination is boundless. Right now you need to find a way to bring your...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.