A review on racism in the UK commissioned by Number 10 Downing Street has said that the UK "should be regarded as a model for other white-majority countries".
The Runnymede Trust, a race equality think tank, has said it felt “let down” by the report, while members of Labour have criticised the government for compiling a report rather than taking action against race inequality.
The report, compiled by ten commissioners, was set up by Number 10 policy chief Munira Mirza and sponsoring minister Kemi Badenoch.
Who commissioned the report?
The head of the Number 10 policy unit Munira Mirza was tasked with setting up the commission.
Her hiring was met with dismay due to her previous casting of doubt on the existence of institutional racism.
Mirza has condemned previous reports for encouraging a “culture of grievance”.
Upon her hiring the Institute of Race Relations said “any enquiry into inequality has to acknowledge structural and systemic factors. Munira Mirza’s previous comments describe a ‘grievance culture’ within the anti-racist field and she has previously argued that institutional racism is ‘a perception more than a reality’.”
Who chaired the report?
Dr Tony Sewell, a former teacher and head of charity Generating Genius who grew up in Brixton, chaired the commission.
Upon his hiring concerns were raised about his scepticism of institutional racism.
Campaigner Peter Tatchell told the Guardian: “Tony has done great work getting young black people into university and jobs, but I am alarmed by his belief that institutional racism does not exist and by his past intemperate insults against LGBT+ people.”
Dr Sewell has previously been criticised for disparaging claims about the gay community labelling them as “tortured queens playing hide and seek” in a 1990 column after footballer Justin Fashuanu came out as gay.
Who else is on the commission?
Nine members with legal, education and charity backgrounds were also appointed to the commission.
Among them was Keith Fraser who has served as the Chair of the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales since 2018.
Broadcaster Maggie Aderin-Pocock, who co-presented BBC’s ‘The Sky at Night’ also contributed.
Aftab Chughta, a member of the Grenfell Tower taskforce, and Mercy Muroki, a senior policy researcher were also members.
List of Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities members: Dr Tony Sewell (head of charity); Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE (broadcaster); Keith Fraser (Chair of the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales); Dr Samir Shah CBE (CEO of Juniper TV); Lord Ajay Kakkar (surgeon and chair of the King’s Fund); Dr Dambisa Moyo (economist); Martyn Oliver(CEO of Outwood Grange Academies Trust); Naureen Khalid (school governor); Aftab Chughtai MBE (businessman); Mercy Muroki (commentator, and columnist)
Co-opted members: Kunle Olulode, (director, Voice4Change), Blondel Cluff CBE, (chief executive of the West India Committee)