Indian-origin Lord Ajay Kakkar, Dr Samir Shah on Boris Johnson’s new race commission


Lord Ajay Kakkar
Lord Ajay Kakkar

TWO Indian-origin experts were included in the new commission looking into race disparity in the UK.

Lord Ajay Kakkar, Professor of surgery at University College London (UCL), director of the Thrombosis Research Institute, chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission and chair of the King’s Fund, and Dr Samir Shah, CEO of Juniper TV, former BBC journalist and former chair of race relations think tank Runnymede Trust will be part of the new commission, an official statement said on Thursday (16).

Dr Samir Shah

It will be chaired by Dr Tony Sewell, head of the charity Generating Genius, and will report to the prime minister. The formation of the commission was announced in June by Boris Johnson in the wake of anti-racism protests following the death of George Floyd.

The commission is tasked with looking at all aspects of inequality, including criminal justice, education, employment and health.

“Today I am establishing an independent commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities. This cross-government commission will examine inequality in the UK, across the whole population,” Johnson said.

“I am thrilled we have assembled a group of 10 talented and diverse commissioners, who each bring a wealth of experience from across a range of important sectors. The commission will be inclusive, undertaking research and inviting submissions where necessary. It will set a positive agenda for change.”

The other members in the commission are Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, scientist and co-presenter of BBC’s The Sky at Night, Keith Fraser, chair of the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales, Dr Dambisa Moyo, international economist and author, Martyn Oliver, CEO of Outwood Grange Academies Trust, Naureen Khalid, co-founder of online national school governor forum UkGovChat, Aftab Chughtai,  co-founder of the campaign group Muslims for Britain, member of the Grenfell Tower Taskforce and chair of West Midlands Police Independent Advisory Group and Mercy Muroki – senior policy researcher and columnist.

The commission is expected to submit the report by the end of this year.