Blog: Brexit news – live: Racism report ‘deeply worrying’, campaigners say, as UK faces ‘decade of economic change’ – The Independent

Today’s daily politics briefing

Campaigners have condemned the government’s race commission report for suggesting that Britain is not an institutionally racist country, saying they are “deeply, massively let down” by its findings.

Commissioned in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests last year, the report, which will be published on Wednesday, says the UK has become a “more open society”.

While admitting that racism persists, its sees the UK “as a model for other white-majority countries” regarding race equality in education and the workplace.

Halima Begum, the chief executive of the Runnymede Trust, a leading race equality think-tank, is among those who disagree with the commission’s conclusions.

“Institutionally, we are still racist, and for a government-appointed commission to look into (institutional) racism, to deny its existence is deeply, deeply worrying,” she said.

In Brexit news, a three year inquiry will be launched to assess the economic changes the UK will experience over the next decade.

Torsten Bell, chief executive of the Resolution Foundation, which will co-run the inquiry, said: “The UK is poised for a decade of unprecedented economic change as it not only emerges from the pandemic, but also finds its post-Brexit place in the world, and ramps up its zero-carbon transition.”

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The latest news on Brexit, politics and beyond direct to your inbox every weekday

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Race report ‘stuck in a time warp’, says campaigner

A prominent equalities campaigner has toldThe Independent that the race report published today resembles those conducted in the 1960s and 1970s.

Patrick Vernon OBE said they all shared the suggestion that “immigrant children can survive the colour bar of their parents if they work and be grateful that they are British”.

“The report, instead of being forward thinking and adding a new debate on race, is actually stuck in a time warp, not facing the true realities of 2021,” he added.

Here’s Nadine White and Ashley Cowburn with more:

‘The report, instead of being forward thinking and adding a new debate on race, is actually stuck in a time warp’

Rory Sullivan31 March 2021 11:30

1617185400

Lex Greensill’s business card raises more questions for David Cameron

The scandal involving David Cameron and the Australian financier Lex Greensill shows no sign of abating.

Labour has called for an inquiry into their relationship, after it was alleged that Mr Greensill enriched himself through his “privileged access” to government departments during Mr Cameron’s time as prime minister.

Now, the opposition party says it has unearthed a business card showing the Australian’s role at the heart of government.

My colleague Sam Hancock has the details:

Greensill founder described as ‘senior adviser, prime minister’s office’

Rory Sullivan31 March 2021 11:10

1617184200

Renters could lose homes without government support, MPs warn

The government should offer financial help to renters who have falled behind on payments during the pandemic, with MPs warning of a “crisis in rent arrears”.

In a new report, the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee said people risk losing their homes otherwise.

“We are very concerned that the government is waiting until there is a clear crisis emerging before intervening, rather than heading off a growing rent arrears crisis by taking proactive action to protect people in this country,” the report’s authors said.

Our political correspondent Ashley Cowburn reports:

‘We are very concerned that the government is waiting until there is a clear crisis emerging before intervening’

Rory Sullivan31 March 2021 10:50

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Shadow foreign secretary ‘deeply disappointed’ by race report

Shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy has said she is “deeply disappointed” by the government’s briefing on its race report, which will be published later this morning.

Speaking to LBC, the Labour frontbencher said its findings appeared “to downplay the structural problems we’ve got in this country”.

Rory Sullivan31 March 2021 10:30

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Race commission’s findings unsurprising given chairman’s views, critics say

Questions have been raised once more over the suitability of Dr Tony Sewell’s appointment as chairman of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities.

Dr Hannah Begum, the chief executive of the racial equality think-tank the Runnymede Trust, said both Dr Sewell and Munira Mirza, a senior government aide who helped set up the commission, had preconceived ideas on the issue.

“If both these individuals are from the outset denying the existence of institutional racism, then what hope did we have that they were going to look into this in an objective manner, if not follow whatever the Government mantra is?” she said.

Sathnam Sanghera, the journalist and author, agreed, tweeting that the report’s findings are unsurprising given that those involved in it are “critical” of the concept of institutional racism.

Rory Sullivan31 March 2021 10:10

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Institutional racism is ‘sometimes wrongly applied’, says race commission chairman

Dr Tony Sewell, the head of the government-appointed race commission, has suggested that the term “institutional racism” is “sometimes wrongly applied”.

His remark came after his commission concluded – in its keenly awaited report – that the UK is not an institutionally racist country.

“We wanted institutional racism to be used where it properly needs to be used, applied properly, but, look, we have got some very focused recommendations on changing the whole landscape for ethnic minorities and I think that’s the key thing,” he said.

Rory Sullivan31 March 2021 09:50

1617180000

Race report findings are ‘a slap in the face’, says Labour MP

Labour MP Claudia Webbe has described the findings of the race commission’s report as “a slap in the face”.

The politician, who represents Leicester East in parliament, tweeted the comment on Wednesday morning along with an article by The Independent.

Rory Sullivan31 March 2021 09:40

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Read full race report before jumping to conclusions, says commission member

People should read the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities’ report in full “before making snap judgements”, one of its members has said.

As a co-opted member of the commission, Kunle Olulode, director of Voice4Change England, helped to look at employment and the economy for the report.

He told Sky News that progress had been been made over the last 50 years but that the report also highlighted “disturbing points” that need to be addressed.

“I think it’s much more of a mixed bag than has been presented at the moment,” he added.

Speaking about racism and the economy, he admitted “there are things that actually have been persistent and they are, to a degree, structural”.

Rory Sullivan31 March 2021 09:24

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Denial of institutional racism in race report ‘deeply, deeply worrying’, says Runnymede Trust boss

The chief executive of a leading race equality think-tank has said she feels “deeply, massively let down” by the findings of the race commission’s report.

Dr Halima Begum, who leads the Runnymede Trust, said she disagreed with its suggestion that the UK is not institutionally racist.

She told PA: “Tell that to the black young mother who is four times more likely to die in childbirth than her young white neighbour, tell that to the 60 per cent of NHS doctors and nurses who died from Covid and were black and ethnic minority workers.

“You can’t tell them that, because they are dead.

“Institutionally, we are still racist, and for a government-appointed commission to look into (institutional) racism, to deny its existence is deeply, deeply worrying.”

Rory Sullivan31 March 2021 09:06

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Inside Politics

In today’s political newsletter, Adam Forrest looks at how France and Germany are desperate for more coronavirus vaccines.

President Emmanuel Macron and chancellor Angela Merkel are reported to have spoken to Vladimir Putin to secure doses of Russia’s Sputnik jab.

Turning increasingly desperate, Macron and Merkel have spoken to Putin about jab supply, writes Adam Forrest

Rory Sullivan31 March 2021 08:50

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