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Expert evidence in contentious race report treated with contempt, says MP

14th May 2021
Expert evidence in contentious race report treated with contempt, says MP

Photo: Afzal Khan MP (Credit: Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament)

Hamed Chapman

The Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons has accused the Government of treating expert evidence with contempt in its recently published controversial report by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities.

As a result, Afzal Khan has written to Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch seeking unprecedented permission that those listed in the highly contentious report be allowed to remove their names.

Since the publication on March 31, a significant number of the more than 2,000 individuals and more than 300 organisations have voiced “serious concerns about the violation of their participation and the ethical use of the evidence they provided,” Khan said.

“This calls into question the integrity of The Commission’s work. Clearly if this were an academic exercise, these actions would be classed as academic misconduct,” he told Badenoch.

The commission, set up by Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, following last year’s Black Lives Matter protests, went to the extent of denying there was systemic racism in the UK, prompting a furore.

It has even been alleged that Downing Street rewrote the 258-page document that presented “a new race agenda for the country” and concluded the “claim the country is still institutionally racist is not borne out by the evidence”.

“When the procedures for engagement and evidence gathering are comprised, the trust in our governance system is eroded and we all lose out,” the Shadow Deputy of House of Commons Leader warned the Equalities Minister.

The report has also been slammed by the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent that said it was stunned to find that the report “repackages racist tropes and stereotypes into fact” while urging the British Government to reject the findings.

It described the exercise as an “attempt to normalise white supremacy despite considerable research and evidence of institutional racism” and said it was”sidestepping of the opportunity to “acknowledge the atrocities of the past and the contributions of all in order to move forward.”

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