Boris Johnson’s Most Senior Black Aide, Samuel Kasumu, Quits After Government Report Says UK Not Racist
The Prime Minister’s most senior Black aide, Samuel Kasumu, has resigned following a report that claimed there’s no evidence of systemic racism in the UK.
Kasumu worked as Boris Johnson’s special adviser for civil society and communities, before handing his resignation in on Wednesday, March 31.
He was a key figure in helping the government’s mission to reach minority communities and have their voices heard.
One of Kasumu’s current campaigns includes trying to encourage Black people in Britain to get the COVID vaccine, fronted by comedian Lenny Henry, which he will continue to work on until May.
His decision to leave comes after the government released a controversial report, which rejected the idea that Britain is institutionally racist, even going as far as suggesting the UK is a role model to other countries around the world.
The report, by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, has largely been met by criticism from anti-racism campaigners, who say it completely overlooks inequalities within healthcare and the criminal justice system.
It concluded that the term ‘structural racism’ is ‘too liberally used’ in the UK, adding that other factors, such as socio-economic background, are more likely to have a ‘significant impact on life chances’.
However, Kasumu’s resignation will not come as a surprise to many, after a leaked letter he wrote to the PM earlier this year revealed ‘unbearable tensions’ at Number 10.
In the letter, he suggested that equalities minister Kemi Badenoch might have broken the ministerial code by publicly criticising a Black journalist on Twitter.
‘I believe the ministerial code was breached. However, more concerning than the act, was the lack of response internally,’ he wrote, The Guardian reports.
‘It was not okay or justifiable, but somehow nothing was said. I waited, and waited, for something from the senior leadership team to even point to an expected standard, but it did not materialise.’
Kasumu also went on to say he was considering resigning over fears the Tories were heading towards politics ‘steeped in division’.
‘It is well documented that Black and Asian people are significantly less likely to vote Conservative, despite often having values that are aligned. The gains made under David Cameron in 2015 have been eroded in subsequent elections,’ he continued.
Kasumu will finish his role at Number 10 once the drive to get Black and Asian people in Britain vaccinated is complete.
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