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Tue, 4 August 2020

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PM unveils 'talented and diverse' line-up for race commission in wake of Black Lives Matter protests

PM unveils 'talented and diverse' line-up for race commission in wake of Black Lives Matter protests

The group will present their findings by the end of the year

3 min read

Boris Johnson has unveiled the "talented and diverse" line-up behind the new race commission launched in the wake of the Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

Downing Street have confirmed education consultant Dr Tony Sewell will chair the probe into ethnic disparities across the "whole population" rather than focusing on one specific group.

Mr Johnson had pledged to launched the review following global Black Lives Matter protests against racial inequality, sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in the United States.

Reporting to the Prime Minister, the Commission has been tasked with examining disparities in health, education, criminal justice and employment, with findings expected to be published by the end of the year.

Announcing the group, Mr Johnson said he hoped the review would set a "positive agenda for change".

"I am thrilled we have assembled a group of ten talented and diverse commissioners, who each bring a wealth of experience from across a range of important sectors," he said.
 
"This new Commission will be led by Dr Tony Sewell CBE. Tony has supported many young people from diverse backgrounds into STEM careers.

"I know well how his work has improved access to education across London, and I am confident that he shares my commitment to maximising opportunity for all."

He added: "The Commission will be inclusive, undertaking research and inviting submissions where necessary. It will set a positive agenda for change."

Dr Sewell will lead the panel of ten commissioners, including former BBC journalist Dr Samir Shah, renowned economist Dr Dambisa Moyo and businessman and campaigner Aftab Chughtai.

Responding to the launch of the Commission, Dr Sewell said: "I am delighted to be chairing this new Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities.

"I have spent my entire career in education striving to help all students achieve their full potential. I know however that inequality exists, and I am committed to working with my fellow commissioners to understand why. 

"Together we will set out recommendations for action across Government, public bodies and the private sector, and will seek to inform a national conversation about race, led by the evidence."

Labour’s Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary Marsha de Cordova said: "It's time for action on the structural racism that we already know exists.

"Much of the evidence that Dr Sewell will review has already been presented to the government.

"His first priority should be to understand why the many recommendations made from reviews and investigations in recent years are yet to be implemented by the government."

And Liberal Democrat equalities spokesperson Christine Jardine said the Black Lives Matter movement had show that the Government “urgently needs to redress institutional racism in the criminal justice system and many other parts of our society”.

She added: “I wish the commission well, and commit the Liberal Democrats to playing a constructive role. But, to guarantee this commission has real teeth, the Prime Minister should commit now to ensuring the recommendations to come don’t just sit and gather dust.”

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