6 ways the claims in Boris Johnson's report on racism don't stack up

Britain is no longer a country where the system is “deliberately rigged” against minority ethnic communities, the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities concluded today

The report, commissioned by Boris Johnson in the wake of last year’s Black Lives Matter protests, claimed the well-meaning “idealism” of those who claim that Britain is still institutionally racist is not borne out by the evidence.

But that is not the lived experience of millions of BAME people across the country.

And if it’s true that structural racism does not exist any more, then how do you explain this?


Unemployment rates are significantly higher for ethnic minorities at 12.9% compared with 6.3% for white people.

Black workers with degrees earn 23.1% less on average that white workers while just 8.8% of all ethnic minorities work as managers, directors and senior officials, plummeting to 5.7% of black people, compared with 10.7% of white people.

Black people who leave school with A-levels typically get paid 14.3% less than their white peers

BAME jobseekers have to send 60% more applications to get a positive response from an employer than white British candidates, with black and Pakistani Brits facing Labour market discrimination unchanged since the 1970s


Just 6% of black school leavers attend a Russell Group university, compared with 12% of mixed and Asian school leavers and 11% of white school leavers

Black Caribbean and mixed white/black Caribbean children are three times more likely to be permanently excluded from school than the pupil population as a whole

Black people studying science, technology, engineering and maths subjects at uni have poorer degree outcomes and lower rates of academic career progression than other ethnic groups


BAME nurses and doctors made up 64% of all Covid deaths among NHS staff, while ethnic minority patients were 10 years younger than white ones on average, but more likely to die

Black people in England are four times more likely to die in pregnancy or within the first six weeks of childbirth than their white counterparts.

Women of black African heritage are seven times more likely to be detailed with mental health issues than white British women

BAME people have been overexposed to Covid by being overrepresented in public-facing industries where they cannot work from home, and living in overcrowded housing

People of black or Asian heritage are more likely to be admitted to hospital than their white peers and less likely to receive evidence-based care


Black people are three times more likely than white people to be arrested and prosecuted than white people

The percentage of the prison population from ethnic minorities was almost twice the ethnic minority percentage in the population

Ethnic minority people are more likely to be murdered than white people, with the homicide rate for black people 30.5 per million population, 14.1 for Asian people and 8.9 for white people.

Race hate crimes on Britain’s railway networks have risen by 37%

In England, 37.4% of black people and 44.8% of Asian people felt unsafe being at home or around their local area, compared with 29.2% of white people.


30.9% of Pakistani or Bangladeshi people live in overcrowded accommodation, while for black people the figure is 26.8% and for white people it is 8.3%

35.7% of ethnic minority people still live in poverty, compared with 17.2% of white people

People of black African ethnicity hold the lowest wealth at £24,000 per adult – including property, pensions and savings – less than one eighth of the typical wealth held by white Brits

The media

While 13% of staff at the five major TV broadcasters come from BAME backgrounds, representation at senior levels was just 9%

There is just one BAME editor of a national newspaper – Roula Khalaf at the Financial Times

A huge 94% of journalists in the UK media are white, while only 0.4% are Muslim, and just 0.2% are black

[Sources: Equality and Human Rights Commission/ Oxford University/HQIP/Kings College London/Keele University/Resolution Foundation/ Reuters Institute/ Ofcom/WIJ]


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