A BLACK child from an average background is 12 times less likely than an equivalent white child to become prime minister as an adult, according to a documentary aired by the BBC this weekend.
He or she would have a one in 17 million chance of leading the government, while a white child would have a one in 1.4 million chance, according to statistics presented in Will Britain Ever Have a Black Prime Minister?
The difference is even more stark when the black child from an average background is compared to a white child who goes to private school, makes it into a top university, lands a top-level job and has a one in 200,000 chance of becoming PM.
This youngster is 90 times more likely than a black child to become prime minister, according to economics and inequalities statistician Dr Faiza Shaheen, who developed a model that calculates the probabilities.
David Harewood, a black working-class Rada-trained actor from south London, tells Dr Shaheen in the one-off programme that he is “speechless” at the huge disparity in the statistics, which suggest that black children have to “work 12 times as hard” to get to the top.
He adds: “This demonstrated to me that the system is structured in an elitist way that favours those with wealth and privilege over others, particularly people of colour.
“If you’re a state-school-educated black kid, even if you cross all those hurdles, the system still inherently is going to disadvantage you.
“I refuse to be disheartened. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from my own life, it’s that black people can and will, despite the odds, break through those barriers to success.”
Will Britain Ever Have A Black Prime Minister? is on BBC2 tomorrow at 9pm.