18-Jun-2018
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Ex-minister Priti Patel doesnt want her to be labelled as BAME candidate

LONDON March 10: Former cabinet minister Priti Patel says she has warned Conservative colleagues not to "label me as BME". She told BBC Radio Kent she found the commonly used acronym for Black and Minority Ethnic "patronising" and "insulting".
 
The former international development secretary and leading Brexiteer did not rule out a bid for the Conservative leadership at some point.She quit the cabinet last November after a row over unauthorised meetings.
 
She said she was "not sure" if Britain would ever see a prime minister from a minority community.
 
There was a lot of "patronage" in the British political system and lot of institutional barriers, she told Radio Kent, but she would "love to see it" as it would show the country was a "true meritocracy".
 
Asked if it could be her, she said: "Who knows?" The Witham MP said she wanted to encourage more people from Indian backgrounds to follow in her footsteps and get involved in politics.
 
But she said it would be a "regressive step" for any political party or government to put people in posts "just because they are women or because they represent a minority group".
 
"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."
 
She said the term was "totally unhelpful because we are people and everybody wants to be recognised for their individual merits".