UK needs to do more to tackle racism, PM Johnson says

FILE PHOTO: A man and a woman hold hands aloft in Hyde Park during a "Black Lives Matter" protest following the death of George Floyd who died in police custody in Minneapolis, London, Britain, June 3, 2020. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

LONDON (Reuters) -British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday that a race inequality review commissioned by his government, which concluded there was no longer institutional racism in Britain, was stimulating but more needed to be done to tackle the issue.

The report on Wednesday by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, ordered after Black Lives Matter protests last summer, said geography, family and socio-economic factors played a greater role on people’s life chances than race.

However, its conclusions were condemned by campaigners who said it was a whitewash.

“I don’t want to say that the government is going to agree with absolutely everything in it, but it has some original and stimulating work in it but I think people need to read and to consider,” Johnson said.

“There are very serious issues that our society faces to do with racism that we need to address, we’ve got, we’ve got to do more to fix it and we need to understand the severity of the problem,” he said.

On Thursday, media reported that Johnson’s senior adviser on ethnic minorities Samuel Kasumu was quitting his job, although Downing Street said his departure was not linked to the report.

Speaking to reporters, Johnson thanks Kasumu for his work and said he had done some great work encouraging ethnic minority groups to have a COVID-19 vaccine.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Michael Holden