UK government sets up independent review into 2022 Leicester clashes

UK government sets up independent review into 2022 Leicester clashes
Courtesy: Mykola Romanovskyy | Moment Via Getty Images

The UK government has announced an independent review into the unrest that took place in Leicester last year as community groups clashed on the streets of the city.

UK Communities Secretary Michael Gove commissioned the review recently under the chairmanship of Lord Ian Austin, former Minister for Housing and Planning and former Minister for the West Midlands. Lord Austin will lead an independent panel of experts, to be appointed in due course, to work on understanding the origins of the unrest and explore how similar events can be prevented in the future, both in Leicester and elsewhere.

In its announcement, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) stated that in September 2022 community tensions led to a spate of vandalism, assaults, and attacks on places of worship and other properties in Leicester, in some cases highlighting divisions between different groups across the city and beyond. At the time, the Indian government had strongly condemned the attacks on its diaspora community and vandalisation of Hindu symbols after a temple in the city was among the sites attacked in the clashes, which resulted in several arrests.

Gove said: “Leicester has a proud history of community cohesion, which makes last year’s disorder all the more shocking and upsetting.


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“This review will build a thorough understanding of the specific events that took place and what can be learned from them. I have spoken to both the Home Secretary [Suella Braverman] and the Mayor of Leicester to underline the importance of protecting all parts of the community in Leicester and we will not tolerate attempts to foster division or violence among people or between religious groups.”

Lord Austin said: “Acceptance of each other's background and beliefs is at the heart of our national identity. Communities living and working together have formed some of the most vibrant societies across the country and cities such as Leicester have proud histories of tolerance and diversity.

“This makes the scenes we witnessed in Leicester last year all the more worrying and it is therefore so important that we listen to people in Leicester to get to the bottom of what happened and why.”


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The government said its independent review panel will establish the facts of:

  • what took place over the period of unrest, and a sequence of events; 

  • present an analysis of the causes of the unrest; 

  • make practical recommendations for how similar events that may arise in future could be prevented;

  • and set out proposals and ideas for strengthening social cohesion locally.

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