Many organisations and individuals credited in UK race review now ‘distance themselves’ from findings


The UK government’s commission on race and ethnic disparities was formed by prime minister Boris Johnson in the wake of worldwide Black Lives Matter protests last summer
The UK government’s commission on race and ethnic disparities was formed by prime minister Boris Johnson in the wake of worldwide Black Lives Matter protests last summer

AT LEAST 20 organisations and individuals credited in UK race review have now distanced themselves from the report and its findings alleging that the commission ignored their testimonies.

The report by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, released at the end of March, concluded that while racism and racial injustice still exist, geography, family influence, socioeconomic background, culture and religion all have a greater impact on life chances.

It was widely condemned by MPs, unions and equality campaigners as ‘divisive’ and a missed opportunity for systematic change, reported c.

The 258-page report notes that the commission heard evidence from a number of organisations and individuals during the course of its work and it thanked them for their participation in an appendix.

Those who have distanced themselves from the report include, NHS trusts, professional bodies, frontline workers, police forces, federations and frontline officers, charities, not-for-profit organisations, academic institutions and bodies, schools and individuals.

The British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin signed an open letter saying healthcare professionals were ‘dismayed’ by the report, which it said used ‘inflammatory’ language, The Guardian report added

The Labour MP David Lammy accused the prime minister of ‘standing in the way’ of young people who want to end racial inequality.

Marsha de Cordova, the shadow minister for women and equalities, said: “To downplay institutional racism in a pandemic where black, Asian and ethnic minority people have died disproportionately and are now twice as likely to be unemployed is an insult.”

The National Black Police Association accused the commission of constructing ‘a politicised and deliberate narrative aimed at undermining lived experiences, racial equality thought and racial equality movements.’

Race Council Cymru and National BAME Youth Forum Wales said they were ‘appalled’ to see themselves referenced in the report as stakeholders.

“The report has missed a powerful opportunity to acknowledge and reflect the very tangible lived experiences of so many young people across the country,” said UK Youth.

According to Youth Futures Foundation, culture and the role of family alone cannot explain the existence of disparities.

Stephen Bourne, a historian on black British history, said he was horrified to see his name listed and was unaware that a meeting he attended during Black History Month had anything to do with the report.

Simon Woolley, who was head of No 10’s race disparity unit until last summer, has criticised the commission for disrespecting and disregarding people’s lived experiences.

Black Young Professionals Network said: “Considering (the commission) has delivered the opposite of what they promised, we do not co-sign the report and do not wish to be thanked.”

Sir Simon Wessely, the chair of the government-commissioned independent review of the Mental Health Act, termed the report as ‘another wasted opportunity”.

The King’s Fund thinktank clarified that it was never tasked to produce research specifically for the commission.

“The commission has examined the evidence and data to come up with solutions that are based on the facts. The commission engaged both directly and indirectly with thousands of researchers, analysts, stakeholders and members of the public to inform this comprehensive report. We have thanked them as a courtesy,” a spokesperson for the commission told The Guardian.

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