Lindsay Hoyle gets Imran Hussain's name wrong during debate
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Labour backbenchers shouted for the Speaker to correctly announce Imran Hussain’s name after he was mistakenly called “Mohammad Hussain” in a debate on racism in cricket. As the Bradford East MP rose to speak, Sir Lindsay Hoyle announced his name as “Mohammad Hussain”, with Parliament’s official livestream, parliamentlive.tv, recording his name as Mohammad Yasin, the Labour MP for Bedford. Shouts of “Imran Hussain!” could be heard from Labour MPs calling on the Commons Speaker to correct the mistake, as Mr Hussain stood to speak in the debate about racism experienced by Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq.
In his speech, Mr Hussain condemned the “violent language” faced by the cricketer in his time at Yorkshire County Cricket Club.
The Labour MP also criticised the cricket club for not having shared a “full copy” of the report into what happened to Rafiq with the public, instead having only sent a redacted version of the report to its former player.
“It is shocking that even after all this that the House has requested a full copy of the report and has been denied it,” said Mr Hussain.
Government minister Chris Philp later made similar calls for the report to be released publicly, as did the Conservative chairman of the Culture and Sport Select Committee, Julian Knight.
Mr Hussain added that the language experienced by Mr Rafiq was “not friendly banter” but was “racism plain and simple” and was the “tip of the iceberg” of the “normalisation of racism” in sport.
It comes as the Government has vowed to “step in” if Yorkshire County Cricket Club and the ECB fail to take “real action” in response to the racism crisis.
Culture minister Chris Philp told MPs that racism must be “confronted”, “eradicated” and it should “never be written off as just banter” as he expressed concerns over allegations made at Yorkshire CCC.
He said the situation faced by former player Azeem Rafiq was “unacceptable”, should “never have been allowed to happen” and should have been “dealt with properly” during the initial investigation.
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The case of Mr Rafiq must be a “watershed moment for cricket”, the minister added.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Philp said: “We have been clear with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) that this needs a full, transparent investigation both into the incidents involving Azeem Rafiq but also into the wider cultural issues and Yorkshire Cricket Club.”
The minister acknowledged the ECB is “investigating this fully” and has started to act, including by stripping Yorkshire of the right to host international matches.
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He said there have been “quite rightly” resignations from the Yorkshire board, with new chairman Lord Patel of Bradford already outlining action he wants to take and apologising to Mr Rafiq.
Mr Philp went on: “We know this will not undo the pain Azeem feels. More action is now needed and we have called on Lord Patel and the ECB to fully investigate to eradicate racism where it exists and tackle the culture that can support it.”
He encouraged “anyone who has experienced discrimination in cricket” to come forward to the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket, a discrimination inquiry set up by the ECB.
Mr Philp added he understood the Equality and Human Rights Commission has “requested information” about the incident involving Mr Rafiq.
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