THE Government has vowed to "step in" with "real action" if Yorkshire (YCCC) and the England and Wales Cricket Board falls short in its response to the racism crisis at the county.

An urgent question on the matter was brought to parliament by Stockport MP Nav Mishra, with culture minister Chris Philp telling the House of Commons racism must be "confronted" and "eradicated" in the sport before calling for further resignations at Headingley.

Roger Hutton stepped down as chair last week citing frustrations over the handling of Azeem Rafiq's claims of institutional racism, but Philp suggested that was not enough by telling MPs: "If there is anybody left from that regime, they should resign as well."

Rafiq has personally called for chief executive Mark Arthur and director of cricket Martyn Moxon, both executive board members, to go but both men currently remain in post alongside Lord Kamlesh Patel, of Bradford, who is now leading the Yorkshire response as Hutton's successor.

Philp said the situation faced by former player Rafiq was "unacceptable", should "never have been allowed to happen" and should have been "dealt with properly" during the initial investigation.

The case must be a "watershed moment for cricket", the minister added.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Philp said: "We have been clear with the England and Wales Cricket Board 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 had started to act, including by suspending Yorkshire's right to host international matches.

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.

"The Government applauds Azeem Rafiq's courage in speaking out and encourages anybody else similarly affected to do the same. This must be a watershed moment for cricket.

"The Government will now closely scrutinise the actions of the ECB... and we're going to scrutinise the actions that Yorkshire County Cricket Club takes in response to these damning allegations.

"The investigations I've referred to need to be thorough, they need to be transparent and they need to be public - that is necessary to restore the public's belief in cricket and beyond.

"Parliament is watching, the Government is watching and the country is watching.

"We expect real action and the Government stands ready to step in and take action if they do not put their own house in order. There were catastrophic failings of governance over many years at Yorkshire County Cricket Club, that is why it's right the chairman resigned and I think if there is anybody left from that regime they should resign as well."

Having secured the urgent question, Mishra added: "Sport should be for everyone. No-one should be excluded or belittled because of their race, gender, sexual orientation or disability. I hope today is a landmark to start addressing these serious issues.

Meanwhile, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) have today written to Lord Patel, urging him to let survivors of racist harassment lead the club’s response to the workplace culture raised by Azeem Rafiq.

The letter accompanies a statement of solidarity to cricketers and other professional sports players who have experienced racism, which was voted on today at the Executive meeting of the TUC Regional Council, attended by representatives of Yorkshire’s major trade unions.

The TUC urges Lord Patel to let unions in to YCCC to support workers in challenging and changing the culture of silence that has allowed this issue to grow.

In the letter, the TUC highlights that the YCCC is a workplace like any other, and that the club has a duty of care to all its employees, be they professional cricketers, groundskeepers, or bar staff.

The Chair of the TUC’s Regional Black Workers Committee, and Equity trade union Regional Officer Dominic Bascombe said: “Cricket clubs are workplaces like any other. Staff at YCCC are entitled to turn up to work and be treated with dignity and respect.

"There can be no context that mitigates the racist incidents raised by Azeem Rafiq.

“The best way to end institutional racism and cultures of silence at work is for BME workers to speak together as a union, and for white colleagues to support them every step of the way.

"That is what it means to be in a union. It should never have come to this.”

TUC Regional Secretary Bill Adams added: “Trade unions stand ready to support BME workers who experience racism in the workplace.

"We hope that Lord Patel considers our offer of support.

"We look forward to hearing from YCCC on how trade unions can support all workers at the club, from cricketers to bar staff, feel safer at work.”