Credibility of controversial Race Report takes another hit after claims that parts of the report were ‘re-written’


The credibility of the report on Race and Ethnic Disparities has taken a further hit after accusations that elements of the report were re-written. 

The claims which originated from the Observer, suggest that portions of the report were not written by the 12 members of the Independent Commission.

The 12 members included Tony Sewell - who led the Commission - Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Aftab Chughtai, Keith Fraser, Ajay Kakkar, Naureen Khalid, Dambisa Moyo, Mercy Muroki, Martyn Oliver, Samir Shah, and Kunle Olulode.

In a statement given to the Observer, Olulode’s charity Voice4change were clear in the belief that the findings of the report were limited in their understanding of discrimination and had also been distorted:

“The report does not give enough to show its understanding of institutional or structural discrimination … evidence in sections, that assertive conclusions are based on, is selective,” it said. “The report gives no clear direction on what expectations of the role of public institutions and political leadership should be in tackling race and ethnic disparities. What is the role of the state in this?”

Yet some have been quick to question the motivations behind this change. At the launch of the report, Olulode suggested that the commission had "followed the evidence honestly and looked at where that took them, rather than just simply asserting views at the start and trying to find the evidence that backed up those views". 

Olulode is not alone in having distanced himself from the findings of the report. It is being reported that another commissioner, who chose to remain anonymous, has accused the government of using the commission's work to fit “a more palatable” political narrative.

“We did not read Tony’s [Sewell] foreword... We did not deny institutional racism or play that down as the final document did. 

“The idea that this report was all our own work is full of holes. You can see that in the inconsistency of the ideas and data it presents and the conclusions it makes. That end product is the work of very different views.”

As reported by the Guardian

However, this view has not been universally shared among the Commission. Naureen Khalid maintains that the commissioners ‘reject the allegations, which are designed to divert attention from our 24 recommendations.’

This has followed more than a week of overwhelming pushback against the report. It has been branded as ‘historically illiterate’ and faced heavy criticism by activists, members of parliament, academics and professional institutions

Over 9,000 have now signed OBV's petition denouncing the commission's findings. A further 21,000 were on the letter presented to Downing Street on Friday, asking the prime minister to reject the report.

Instead of being forward thinking and adding a new debate on race, the report is almost stuck in a time warp or even ‘lost in space’. It does not face the true realities of 2021.

Patrick Vernon OBE, in The Voice

In everything from its formulation, its aims, its conclusions and reception, there remains little in the way of consistency or goodwill for the Race and Ethnic Disparities report.

Mayowa Ayodele


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