A Rochdale mini-cab business owner who admitted some of his customers show a preference for white drivers after a local child-sex scandal involving predominantly Pakistani men, is being investigated by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).
The comments of Car 2000 owner Stephen Campbell were reported in the British press yesterday as he discussed the difficulties he had after taking over Eagle cabs, the business that had been at the heart of the scandal. After two of Eagle’s drivers were imprisoned for trafficking and exploiting children for sex, customers began asking for specifically “local”, or white British drivers, with up to sixty requests a week.
As Campbell told The Guardian: “I have responded to demand, and I have to try and make a living. I have nothing against any race and choose to employ many Asian drivers. As far as I am concerned, the drivers are not my employees”.
That this is an arrangement Campbell, his customers, and his licensing authority in Greater Manchester were all happy with has clearly ruffled feathers among some, as Britain’s equality watchdog has decided to step in and investigate. The EHRC, which has offices in London and Manchester are concerned by insisting the customer is always right, Campbell and Car 2000 are discriminating against their employees, and contravening Section 83 of the Equality Act.
A spokesman for the EHRC told Breitbart London they only became aware of the purported discrimination in this case after reading about it in the Guardian newspaper yesterday, and have now launched an investigation. A spokesman said “While the law doesn’t prevent individual customers making requests, it is unlawful for an employer to treat an employee less favourably because of the colour of their skin”.
It appears that rather than investigating whether Campbell was right or not to accept his customers’ requests, the legality of his actions, and therefore prospect of prosecution will depend on a narrow interpretation of the law. If Car 2000’s drivers are self employed, as Campbell says they are, there may be no case to answer. However “equality legislation covers employees and self-employed people in different ways”, and if they transpire to be directly employed the commissions formidable enforcement powers could be brought to bear on the small business.
In either case, this investigation appears to be showing how a non-departmental governmental body, the equality commission can make a businessman carry the can for the consumer choices made by his customers.