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Race Relations Act 1965

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Race Relations Act 1965 was the first law in the UK to say that discrimination on the "grounds of colour, race, or ethnic or national origins" in public places in Great Britain was not allowed. It did not apply to shops or private boarding houses. It was followed by more, stronger, laws.[1]

It was passed by the Wilson government after a racist political campaign in Smethwick, where the Conservative candidate Peter Griffiths beat Patrick Gordon Walker using the the slogan "If you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Labour".[2]

The Race Relations Board was started in 1966 to consider complaints under the Act. Discrimination was a civil issue. The Act also created the criminal offence of "incitement to racial hatred". The leader of the British National Socialist Movement, Colin Jordan, was prosecuted under the Act and jailed for 18 months in 1967.[3]

It was strengthened by the Race Relations Act 1968.


[change | change source]
  1. "1965: New UK race law 'not tough enough'". 1965-12-08. Retrieved 2023-11-29.
  2. Jeffries, Stuart (2014-10-15). "Britain's most racist election: the story of Smethwick, 50 years on". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2023-11-30.
  3. "Colin Jordan sent to prison for 18 months on Race Act charges". Glasgow Herald. January 26, 1967. p. 7. Retrieved 2016-06-23.