Campaigners are urging black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) parents not to send their children to school until they know they it is safe, during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Government's plans to start sending children back to school next month have come under attack from teaching unions and some local authorities, with critics arguing it is too soon to lift the lockdown restrictions.

Stand Up to Racism co-convenor Weyman Bennett said that BAME communities should not send their children to school until the Government sets out a plan for making sure it is safe.

Speaking at an online meeting on Tuesday, Mr Bennett said people should "take a leaf out of Rosa Parks", the US civil rights pioneer.

Mr Bennett added: "I think that we should take a leaf out of Rosa Parks, out of the school boycotts.

"We should boycott sending our children to school unless we know it's safe.

"We have had to do this before in the past, there was a boycott in Bristol, this is a tradition amongst black communities when they are faced with disproportionate inequality and they don't get justice.

"Don't let them take your child to school, support the teachers, have full solidarity with them until the Government comes up with a strategic plan for both testing, planning how they introduce people to work.

"At the moment it's not safe, it's not safe for our children."

Mr Bennett was speaking alongside former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, about the impact of easing lockdown on BAME communities.

Ms Abbott and Mr Bennett both called for a public inquiry into the disproportionate impact the virus has had on BAME communities.

An analysis by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that black men and women are more than four times more likely to suffer a coronavirus-related death than white people.

People of Bangladeshi and Pakistani, Indian and mixed ethnicities also had an increased risk of death involving Covid-19 compared with those of white ethnicity, the ONS found.

An Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) report found that per capita deaths among the black Caribbean population in English hospitals were three times those of white British people.

Ms Abbott added: "We have to demand a independent public inquiry, a public inquiry that makes a difference, a public inquiry that's transformative."

By Joe Gammie, PA