Most Senior Black Adviser To Boris Johnson Resigns After Report Claims Britain Doesn’t Have Systemic Racism Problem
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s senior adviser on ethnic minorities announced his resignation one day after a government-commissioned report found that the country was “no longer” rigged against minorities, numerous sources reported.
Samuel Kasumu, Johnson’s most senior black adviser, will leave his position in May, according to a BBC report published Thursday. One day prior, the government’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities released a report that concluded Britain is not yet a “post-racial country” but it has made significant strides in removing race-based disparities within education and the economy.
Boris Johnson’s most senior Black adviser has resigned
No10 aide Samuel Kasumu informed colleagues of his decision to leave yesterday morning — just as the government released its controversial report on race and ethnic disparitieshttps://t.co/8q9CEX7a6Z pic.twitter.com/Y4FDmXlzkg
— Alex Wickham (@alexwickham) April 1, 2021
The government denied a link between the report and Kasumu’s departure. Johnson’s office said Kasumu would leave his position in May, which had “been his plan for several months,” according to the Associated Press (AP). Kasumu previously handed in his resignation in February before retracting it, the BBC reported.
Kasumu accused the Conservatives in government of pursuing a “politics steeped in division,” but retracted his resignation letter after being persuaded into staying on longer to encourage ethnic minorities to get the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the BBC.
The government established the commission that led the report after protests over the death of George Floyd emerged across the U.K. throughout the summer. (RELATED: Black UK Member Of Parliament Blasts BLM, Critical Race Theory In House Of Commons Speech)
The report found that children from ethnic-minority communities did as well or better than their white peers in education, and the pay gap between all ethnic minorities and the white population had shrunk to 2.3% overall. The gap between employees under 30 was barely significant, according to the BBC.
“The country has come a long way in 50 years and the success of much of the ethnic minority population in education and, to a lesser extent, the economy, should be regarded as a model for other White-majority countries,” an introduction to the report said. “We found that most of the disparities we examined, which some attribute to racial discrimination, often do not have their origins in racism.”
The report said while the “reality of racism” will be taken seriously and the government does not deny it as a “real force” in the country, an “increasingly strident form of anti-racism thinking seeks to explain all minority disadvantage through the prism of white discrimination.”
The report sparked backlash from some who argue Britain remains at least institutionally racist. “Institutionally, we are still racist, and for a government-appointed commission … to deny its existence is deeply, deeply worrying,” Halima Begum, chief executive of the Runnymede Trust, a racial equality think tank, said, according to the AP.
Downing Street’s most senior Black adviser quit in the wake of the Government’s whitewashed #RaceReport
When asked about this by the media, another Government Minister said “I don’t even know who he is!”
But there’s no institutional racism.https://t.co/3Ti6kFLTWp
— Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP (@BellRibeiroAddy) April 1, 2021
Labour Party Member of Parliament (MP) Marsha de Cordova criticized the report, and reportedly said it was “no wonder” the government was losing its experts.
“To have your most senior advisor on ethnic minorities quit as you publish a so-called landmark report on race in the UK is telling of how far removed the Tories are from the everyday lived experiences of Black, Asian and ethnic minority people,” she said, according to the BBC.