The murder of Stephen Lawrence was a "watershed moment" that forced the country to confront the racism that still exists in society, Theresa May said.

The Prime Minister said she wanted the first Stephen Lawrence Day to inspire youngsters and help ensure his legacy is a "brighter, better future".

The 18-year-old, described by Mrs May as a "young man of enormous potential" was murdered on April 22, 1993 by a gang of racists in Eltham.

"Stephen's murder was a watershed moment for our country," Mrs May said.

"It was a moment that demanded we wake up to the reality of the racism that still exists in our society and the obstacles that far too many young people live with every single day of their lives.

"It was a moment that demanded all of us work together to bring about positive change."

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Mrs May announced the creation of Stephen Lawrence Day last year on the 25th anniversary of his death.

The Prime Minister said: "He was talented and much loved - and he had every reason to believe that he would go on to make the most of all that life has to offer.

"His life stands as an example. A reminder of the work we must do to ensure that young people, no matter what their background, are given every chance to fulfil their ambitions.

"And a reminder to all of us of the work we need to do to build a fairer and more inclusive society.

"That is what I hope this day will encourage us to do. "

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She said Stephen Lawrence Day would give children the chance to learn about his life and legacy.

She added: "I hope that they will be inspired by Stephen's story. And I want children in all parts of this country to have the support and encouragement they need to go as far as their talents and hard work will take them."

Mrs May said the day was a tribute to Baroness Doreen Lawrence and Neville Lawrence, Stephen's parents, who had "fought heroically to ensure that their son's life and legacy is not forgotten".

She added: "Let us continue to learn the lessons of 26 years ago.

"Let us continue to build on all the good work that has been done since then.

"And let us ensure that Stephen's lasting legacy is a brighter, better future for many generations of children to come."