Boris Johnson has been urged to repudiate and withdraw the much-derided racial disparity report from last week, which sparked a huge backlash from critics who accused him of downplaying racism in the UK.
An open letter, whose signatories include the racial equality expert group Runnymede Trust, the civil rights campaign group Liberty, the African diaspora social enterprise Ubele Initiative and Black Lives Matter UK, says the report “locks up” the challenges. newspapers faced by minority communities and that their claims have fueled “Public disbelief and national outrage.”
Since the government-appointed Sewell commission published its findings last Wednesday, experts have accused its members of downplaying evidence of discrimination in areas ranging from healthcare to education and business / employment to education. criminal justice. In addition, prominent academics cited in the report have said that they were not properly consulted and / or have disassociated themselves from it.
The prime minister, who has been accused of selecting commissioners to deliver politically expedient findings, distanced himself from the report last week, saying: “I’m not going to say that we agree with every word.” However, the signatories of the letter, published Tuesday, argue that it did not go far enough.
They say: “If you and your government are genuinely committed to recognizing and addressing the issue of racial equity in the UK, we ask that you immediately repudiate the commission’s findings and withdraw your report …
“The false claims, including the commission’s claim that its investigation found no evidence of institutional racism in the UK, have sparked public disbelief and national outrage. The danger is that such an unreliable report will get circulated and take us back to the ‘color bar’ of the 1960s. “
The signatories, which also include Operation Black Vote, Windrush activist Patrick Vernon and the National Education Union, say the ultimate responsibility rests with Johnson and urge him to establish a “genuinely credible” prime minister working group.
As a first step, they say you should implement recommendations from long-standing reviews of racial injustice, including Marmot’s 2010 review of health inequalities, Lammy’s 2017 review of the criminal justice system, and the report of the year. past about the Wendy Williams Windrush scandal. They also urge the government to “affirm its commitment to current legislation on equality and respect the duty of the public sector in terms of equality and promote good relations.”
Halima Begum, Executive Director of the Runnymede Trust, said: “Researchers and civil society groups with years of experience under their belt may see this report for what it is: totally uncredible and written with just a hint of empathy. by reality. racism, and at odds with the overwhelming evidence.
“More worryingly, it would appear that this report was written in predetermined writing and in anticipation of what the prime minister wanted to hear … Under no circumstances can this report be used to justify or substantiate any form of government policy.”
Gracie Bradley, Liberty Acting Director, said the government was “complicit in violating the rights of racial minorities” through the hostile environment, Prevent, refugee prison camps and greater police powers, including those proposed in the new draft of police law.
She said the Black Lives Matter protesters last year, “were not demanding another policy brief, they were demanding action for racial equality. Regardless of what the ‘yes people’ of the government publish, that demand will not be silenced ”.
The letter came as the Consortium of Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority Health Professional Networks warned that the commission’s report could put lives “at greater risk.”
Dr. Salman Waqar, coordinator of the 37-member consortium, told the news agency, PA media, that its “wrong conclusions” could lead to “putting resources and attention in areas where it is not necessary, possibly inflaming the situation or making it worse. “. ”.
Issue 10 said the prime minister had commented when the report was released and would not respond further at this time.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism