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National Stephen Lawrence Day will be held annually

The Prime Minister has said that every year on April 22nd a day of national commemoration will be held for murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence.

This announcement comes after the news of the family attending the 25th anniversary of his death. Stephen died in Eltham, London in 1993. The 18-year old black teenager was brutally stabbed to death in what is now known to have been a racially motivated attack.

The service was held in St-Martins-in-the Field, Trafalgar Square, and was attended by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Stephen’s mother Doreen is now a peer in the Lords. Both she and Stephen’s father have continued over the last 25 years to fight heroically to ensure that Stephen’s life and death are never forgotten.

Stephen and his friend Duwayne Brooks were attacked by a gang of six, with Stephen being fatally stabbed, and left to die on the evening of 22nd April 1993. Two of the gang members were convicted of murder while the remaining four have evaded justice. David Norris and Gary Dobson were charged with murder. They are both serving life sentences.

The Macpherson Report into the incident and subsequent investigation into Stephen’s death found that there had been ‘institutional racism’ in the police force at that time.

Cressida Dick, Metropolitan Police Commissioner, and Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn were also present at the memorial.

Mrs May commented afterwards that it was right that the name and legacy of Stephen live on.

Baroness Lawrence stated that she was looking forward to attending the first Stephen Lawrence Day in 2019, adding that she felt honoured that Mrs May had recognised changes which have taken place in Stephen’s name. Mrs May also noted that there are still changes which need to be made.

Stephen’s mother thanked all those that had helped her over the years, and ended by saying that after 25 years, it was now time to draw a line.

The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, along with the government, will be set up to transform the lives of young people. It will campaign for social changes. Annually they will deliver a commemoration to the death of Stephen Lawrence. His death was widely considered a watershed moment in race relations in the UK.

‘It hardly seems possible’ said Prince Harry, ‘that 25 years have passed sine the teenager was so cruelly taken from his family’. The Prince said that he vividly remembered the profound shock he had felt at the senseless murder. This was a feeling which was shared by many people in the UK and beyond.

Prince Harry concluded by saying that he was deeply moved by the family’s determination to build something positive out of the tragedy they suffered. They wanted to ensure that Stephen’s story did not end in despair, but rather continue with hope.


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