Daily Mail

My tor­ment at hands of racist school bul­lies, by Sa­jid Javid

- By Izzy Fer­ris and Tom Witherow Crime · Viral · Bullying · Incidents · Society · Sajid Javid · Huddersfield · West Yorkshire · Feel (animation studio) · United Kingdom · Pakistan · Rochdale · Rochdale A.F.C. · Manchester · Bristol · Downend

SA­JID Javid re­vealed yes­ter­day he was sub­jected to a racist at­tack at school when he was just 11.

The Home Sec­re­tary said he was ‘punched to the ground’ for be­ing Asian in his first year at sec­ondary school.

He said he had been re­minded of his or­deal af­ter footage emerged of a ‘wa­ter­board’ at­tack on a 15-year-old Syr­ian boy.

The video showed the refugee, named only as Ja­mal, be­ing at­tacked by another boy at a school in Hud­der­s­field, West York­shire. He was dragged to the floor and wa­ter was poured on his face. Mr Javid said he had suf­fered a ‘very sim­i­lar in­ci­dent’.

He told the BBC: ‘I saw the video like any­one else and part of me was clearly ab­so­lutely out­raged. It re­minded me of an in­ci­dent I had my­self when I was 11 at school. That’s the im­me­di­ate mem­o­ries that came back to me and I hated it and I thought how that young boy must feel.’

The Cab­i­net min­is­ter said he ‘was punched to the ground ... be­cause I was Asian’.

Af­ter watch­ing the video of the at­tack on Ja­mal, Mr Javid said his ini­tial thought was: ‘How can this kind of thing still be go­ing on in our coun­try?’

He added: ‘I re­ally felt for the young boy that was in­volved. When the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is over I’d like him to come see me with his fam­ily and at least just have a cup of tea or some­thing.’

Mr Javid’s par­ents em­i­grated to the UK from Pak­istan in the early 1960s. He was born in Rochdale, Greater Manch­ester, be­fore mov­ing to Bris­tol aged four when his fa­ther

‘Punched to the ground’

opened a shop in the city. He at­tended Dow­nend Com­pre­hen­sive School be­tween 1981 and 1986. It is un­der­stood that the abuse he re­ferred to hap­pened at this school.

One of Mr Javid’s for­mer class­mates, who de­scribed the fu­ture home sec­re­tary as ‘very quiet’, told the Daily Mail yes­ter­day that racism was not un­usual at the school.

The woman, who did not want to be named, said: ‘It prob­a­bly would have hap­pened, to be hon­est. I’d been on hol­i­day once so I was tanned and I’d had my hair permed and I got a nasty, racist name called to me at the school.’

Dow­nend did not re­spond to re­quests for a com­ment.

A boy of 16 is to ap­pear be­fore a youth court over the at­tack on Ja­mal.

 ??  ?? School days: The fu­ture home sec­re­tary
School days: The fu­ture home sec­re­tary

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