Racism rising, though lowest in London

One third of people in the UK are racially prejudiced new research shows.

The British Social Attitudes survey found that the levels of people who admitted to being either “a little”, or “very” racially prejudiced and were the same as 30 years ago.

The survey, run by NatCen found that 30% of respondents identified themselves as such, though the results also showed wide regional variations.

The lowest levels of racial prejudice were found in London, where 16% of people said they were prejudiced, but the figure was 35% in the West Midlands.

The social attitudes survey has run every year since 1983, and racial tolerance hit an all-time high in 2001, when an average of 25% of people identified themselves as “a little” or “very” prejudiced.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Penny Young, chief executive of NatCen, said the findings were “troubling”.

She said: “Levels of racial prejudice declined steadily throughout the 90s, but have been on the rise again during the first decade of this century.

“This bucks the trend of a more socially liberal and tolerant Britain. Our local and national leaders need to understand and respond to increased levels of racial prejudice if we are to build strong local communities.”

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