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Downing Street rewrote ‘independent’ report on race, experts claim

DOWNING STREET was accused today of rewriting large chunks of the supposedly independent report into race and ethnic disparities, which critics have slammed as a whitewash.

It has been alleged that parts of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities (Cred) report published last month, which concluded that Britain was no longer institutionally racist, were not written by the 12 commissioners who were appointed by ministers in July.

The 258-page document was not made available to be signed off by the group, which included scientist and BBC broadcaster Maggie Aderin-Pocock and former chair of the Runnymede Trust Samir Shah, nor were they made aware of its final recommendations, the Observer reported today. 

The finished report was instead reportedly produced by Number 10. 

One commissioner, who spoke anonymously, accused the government of “bending” the work of its commission to fit “a more palatable” political narrative and deny the working group the autonomy it had been promised. 

It had soon become apparent their work was not being taken sufficiently seriously by PM Boris Johnson, the commissioner said. 

It was revealed earlier this month that historians Stephen Bourne and SI Martin, identified as stakeholders in the report, were never actually consulted by the commission, set up by Samuel Kasumu, the government’s most senior black special adviser.

Mr Kasumu resigned the day the report was published, a departure the government insisted the adviser had been planning for some time.   

Downing Street has not addressed accusations that Munira Mirza, director of the government’s policy unit, influenced the work of the group but has insisted the report was independent. 

In contrast to the inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence or Labour MP David Lammy’s review into institutional racism in the justice sector, both of which took 18 months to conclude, the Cred report was not peer reviewed and was published just seven months after the group, led by Dr Tony Sewell, first met virtually.

A spokesperson for the Race Commission said: “We reject these allegations. They are deliberately seeking to divert attention from the recommendations made in the report [which] can change for the better the lives of millions, whatever their ethnic or social background.

“That is the goal they continue to remain focused on.”

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