Oliver Letwin, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, has apologised over advice which he gave following the 1985 Broadwater Farm riots. The advice was given in conjunction with Hartley Booth when they worked in Downing Street as political advisers.
Part of the advice they offered included the line:
“Lower-class unemployed white people had lived for years in appalling slums without a breakdown of public order on anything like the present scale; in the midst of depression, people in Brixton went out, leaving their grocery money in a bag at the front door, and expecting to see groceries when they got back”.
With reference to the possibility of making business grants available to minorities the pair wrote that these “new entrepreneurs will set up in the disco and drug trade”.
Letwin said in a statement:
“I want to make clear that some parts of a private memo I wrote nearly 30 years ago were both badly worded and wrong”.
Earlier on a spokesman for the Cabinet Office said:
“We remain thoroughly committed to helping the most vulnerable and ensuring that nobody is confined by the circumstances of their birth”.