Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s senior adviser on ethnic minorities, Samuel Kasumu, is to stand down, it has emerged.
Samuel Kasumu will be leaving his post as special adviser for civil society and communities in May. Number 10 sources reject claims Mr Kasumu’s resignation is linked to a much-criticised report on racial disparities.
The news comes just a day after a government-backed review of racial disparities in Britain was published.
The UK government’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities’ 258-page report was criticised for having been “steeped in denial”.
This comes after senior scientists fear that the strict cuts to government research spending will have “catastrophic” consequences for the country, with projects cancelled midway through and with some of the brightest minds in the UK moving to other countries.
But Downing Street sources have rejected the reports that Mr Kasumu’s resignation, first reported on by Politico, was linked to this report.
According to Politico, Samuel Kasumu told colleagues of his decision on Tuesday morning, just after the findings of the report had been released.
Asked whether she knew anything about Mr Kasumu’s resignation, skills minister Gillian Keegan said to Times Radio: “No, I don’t even know who he is.”
The commission’s report, which had explored ethnic and race disparities within the UK’s education, employment, the criminal justice systems, as well as within health, had argued that the UK is no longer a nation “where the system is deliberately rigged against ethnic minorities”.
It said that the UK “should be regarded as a model for other white-majority countries” although it cannot yet be considered “a post racial society”.
“Too often ‘racism’ is the catch-all explanation, and can be simply implicitly accepted rather than explicitly examined,” the report had argued.
“The evidence shows that geography, family influence, socio-economic background, culture and religion have more significant impact on life chances than the existence of racism.”
This comes after roughly half all people in the UK now have antibodies against Covid, either through infection or vaccination, says the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Most of this will be through vaccination, with 30 million people in the UK having received at least a single dose of one of the COVID-19 vaccines.
The report argues that there is an “increasingly strident form of anti-racism thinking that seeks to explain all minority disadvantage through the prism of white discrimination”, which diverts the attention away from the other factors behind these disparities of outcome.
It criticised what it addressed as the “confusing” way the term “institutional racism” has been applied, arguing that it should only be used when there is proven to bw deep-seated, systemic racism present and not as a “catch-all” term for any microaggression.
David Lammy, the Labour shadow justice secretary, said that black Britons were being “gaslighted”, while fellow MP Diane Abbott told Sky News that the report was “more about politics than the policy” and is “taking us back in the argument for racial justice, not taking us forward”.