Tony Blair yesterday claimed the spate of knife and gun murders in London was not being caused by poverty, but a distinctive black culture.
His remarks angered community leaders, who accused him of ignorance and failing to provide support for black-led efforts to tackle the problem.
One accused him of misunderstanding the advice he had been given on the issue at a Downing Street summit.
Black community leaders reacted after Mr Blair said the recent violence should not be treated as part of a general crime wave, but as specific to black youth.
He said people had to drop their political correctness and recognise that the violence would not be stopped “by pretending it is not young black kids doing it”
Mr Blair’s remarks are at odds with those of the Home Office minister Lady Scotland, who told the home affairs select committee last month that the disproportionate number of black youths in the criminal justice system was a function of their disproportionate poverty, and not to do with a distinctive black culture.
Blair blames spate of murders on black culture