A national commemoration of the anniversary of the death of Stephen Lawrence is to be marked on 22 April each year and will be known as Stephen Lawrence Day, Theresa May has announced.
The news came as the prime minister attended a memorial service marking the 25th anniversary of Lawrence’s murder.
Ms May was among several national figures, including Prince Harry, his fiancée Meghan Markle, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick, who joined Stephen’s parents at St Martin-in-the-Fields church in central London.
The murdered teenager’s father, Neville Lawrence, said: “We have got some justice and now this is like a mark of what we have been trying to do for years – our son’s memory is going to be enshrined in history.”
Ms May said the day would be used to encourage and support young people and to reflect on Lawrence’s life, death and the positive change he has inspired.
She said: “For the past 25 years, Doreen and Neville have fought heroically to ensure that their son’s life and death will never be forgotten.
“Their dignity, their courage and their sheer determination are an inspiration to us all.
“We are privileged to be here today at this special final anniversary service to commemorate Stephen.
“But it is right that Stephen’s name and legacy lives on.”
The 18-year-old student was fatally stabbed by a gang in a racially motivated attack in Eltham, south-east London, on 22 April 1993.
The murder was a watershed moment in modern race relations in the UK after the subsequent Macpherson Report concluded the police made mistakes and were guilty of institutional racism.
Prince Harry and Ms Markle met Stephen’s mother, now a peer sitting in the Lords, and brother Stuart before the service.
The prince brought a message of support on behalf of the Prince of Wales, who in 2000 gave the annual Stephen Lawrence Memorial Lecture, which began with a tribute to the Lawrence family.