Race report: Experts condemn UK report commissioned after Black Lives Matter protests

  • ITV News Political Reporter Shehab Khan spoke to four experts about the UK's race report

A landmark report on race in the UK commissioned by the government has been labelled "disappointing", "worrying" and "lacking logic" by an ITV panel of ethnic minority experts.

The report, published on Wednesday by the independent Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, argued that the UK is no longer a country where the “system is deliberately rigged against ethnic minorities”.

The report has been criticised by campaigners and senior figures, including four experts from differing sectors who spoke to ITV News.

British Medical Association chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul, headteacher Allana Gay, Barrister Ann Tayo and employment non-profit founder Lisa Maynard-Attem gave their assessments of the controversial report.

  • Shehab Khan and UK Editor Paul Brand talk about the reaction to the review:

'Mistrust comes from the experience of people'

Both Dr Nagpaul and Ms Tayo took issue with the report's statement that there was a “reluctance to acknowledge that the UK had become open and fairer”.

Commission chairman Dr Sewell wrote that the word "mistrust" was repeated by those interviewed for the report.

He added: “Once we interrogated the data we did find some evidence of biases, but often it was a perception that the wider society could not be trusted".

"You cannot pretend racism doesn't exist", Barrister Ann Tayo says:

Ms Tayo said racism produces lack of trust.

"When it prevails - you're going to have barrier upon barrier, layer upon layer. How are you going to dismantle and dislodge this?" she asked.

Ms Tayo added that tackling mistrust is everybody's responsibility. "But the thing we need to do is stop being in denial," she said.

Dr Nagpaul said there is mistrust among ethnic minority doctors in the medical field.

According to Dr Nagpaul, studies show that ethnic minority doctors report twice the level of bullying and harassment as their white counterparts and are twice as likely to be referred for disciplinary processes.

"If that's your experience, of course you don't trust the system," he said, adding that the onus in improving trust among ethnic minority groups is on the government and authorities.

Video report by ITV News UK Editor Paul Brand:

Report inadvertently 'argues that race plays an important part' in health outcomes

Dr Nagpaul also criticised the report's finding that, in general, ethnic minorities in the UK have worse health outcomes than the white population.

The study claims ethnicity is not the “major driver” of health inequalities and that factors such as deprivation and geography were indicators for worse health outcomes.

Dr Nagpaul said: "There is absolutely no doubt that social disparities and social determinants of health impact on people, but what the report also said is that people from certain ethnic minorities are far more likely to be in those situations".

He added that the report inadvertently argues that race plays an important part in health outcomes, "by virtue of the fact certain racial groups are in disadvantaged situations that are a result of social factors".

'I want my fellow educators to work against this report'

The commission said education is “the single most emphatic success story of the British ethnic minority experience” - a statement contested by Ms Gay and Ms Tayo.Ms Tayo said: "Education is a key. It will take you places, it will make you eligible to go places, but if the door is locked by society...if you're not allowed to climb the ladder, that education can only take you so far."

  • Headteacher Allana Gay argued that institutional racism does exist in the UK:

Headteacher Ms Gay echoed this sentiment, adding that she hopes her fellow educators ignore the report's assessment of their field.

"Now, we have to do something that actually works against this report," she urged.

Commission's take on slavery is "deeply offensive"

Addressing the curriculum, the report said there is a "new story about the Caribbean experience which speaks to the slave period not only being about profit and suffering, but how culturally African people transformed themselves."

Many have accused the commission of attempting to put a positive spin on slavery, including headteacher Ms Gay.

Ms Gay, who is of Black Caribbean origin, said that during the slave trade period the Empire attempted to erase African culture.

She said the curriculum needs to aim for a "reversal of slavery, not for someone to say, 'because of slavery, you lost your culture, your knowledge and your origins and that's really good, because now we can feed you the one that we want you to have'."

Ms Maynard-Attem, an employment expert, called the report's comments on slavery "deeply offensive".

"I think for me that says everything that needs to be said about the report. It's extremely disappointing," she added.