UK government's race report accused of trying to downplay structural racism
The British government has been accused of trying to downplay structural racism in Britain, after its new social disparities report said claims that the country is institutionally racist are "not borne out by the evidence".
The government's Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, set up after Black Lives Matter protests last year, said Wednesday in the report that social class and family structure, rather than race, had a bigger impact on how people's lives turned out.
It claimed Britain acts as "a model" for other white-majority countries when it comes to racial equality in education and the workplace.
The 264-page report was criticised widely, with lawmakers and campaigners accusing the British government of trying to "whitewash" the systemic racism in Britain.
Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy said she was "deeply disappointed" that the race report "seems to downplay the structural problems we've got in this country".
Halima Begum, chief executive of the Runnymede Trust, a leading race equality think tank, said that denying the existence of institutional racism was "deeply, deeply worrying".
Labour MP Zarah Sultana tweeted that it is a "disgraceful sham" for the ruling Conservatives to mark their own homework and decree that Britain is a "model" on racial equality.
"From Windrush to Grenfell, the Criminal Justice system to rates of poverty, systemic racism is all too real. We demand change, not this whitewash," she added.
The race report published Wednesday said Britain has become a "more open society" where children from many ethnic communities perform as well, or substantially better, than white pupils in compulsory education.