Patel: 'I don't like the term BME. I'm British!'

Priti Patel, the former International Development Secretary has said she finds the term BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) “patronising” and “insulting” and hit out at ‘token appointments’.

Speaking to BBC Radio Kent, Patel said: “I don’t like the labelling of people. I don’t like the term BME. I’m British first and foremost, because I was born in Britain.

“I challenge all my colleagues in the Conservative Party and in Westminster: don’t label me as a BME. I’ve said that to people in the Cabinet. I’ve said that to civil servants. I think it’s patronising and insulting.”

The Brexiteer MP said she believed it would be a “regressive step” for a political party to appoint someone to a job “just because they are women or because they represent a minority group”.

She added that putting people into boxes based on their race or gender was “totally unhelpful because we are people and everybody wants to be recognised for their individual merits”.

When asked if she would like to become the first ethnic minority Prime Minister, she replied: “Who knows?”

Good to see a firm rejection of divisive, identity politics. Race and gender shouldn’t even be a factor.

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