Boris Johnson news – live: PM’s most senior black adviser to quit as Starmer says ‘no case for rejoining EU’

No evidence of institutional racism, says head of race report

Boris Johnson’s most senior Black adviser is expected to resign from his role next month after having previously described tensions within the government as “unbearable”.

Samuel Kasumu, who serves as a special adviser for civil society and communities, notified chief-of-staff Dan Rosenfield about his plan to step down from his role last week, according to Politico.

Downing Street has not commented on the situation, but sources have rejected the possibility that Mr Kasumu’s resignation was linked to the release of a controversial report from the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities.

The government has faced widespread backlash after the report concluded that Britain was no longer a country where the “system is deliberately rigged” against ethnic minorities.

Meanwhile, a new Victims’ Code that will ensure that victims of crime will always be told when an offender is due to leave prison comes into effect today.

The code acts as a charter of rights that lays out the minimum expectations that crime victims should have at each stage of the justice process.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland has said the new code will “provides victims with a simplified and stronger set of rights”, while also laying the groundwork for a new Victims’ Law, which MPs will discuss this summer.

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Boris Johnson’s most senior black adviser to resign from No 10

Boris Johnson’s most senior Black adviser has told colleagues he will be resigning from his role next month after having previously described tensions within the government as “unbearable”.

Samuel Kasumu, who serves as a special adviser for civil society and communities, notified chief-of-staff Dan Rosenfield about his plan to step down from his role last week, according to Politico.

Downing Street has not commented on the situation, but sources have rejected the possibility that Mr Kasumu’s resignation was linked to the release of a controversial report from the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, which concluded that Britain was no longer a country where the “system is deliberately rigged” against ethnic minorities.

Political correspondent Ashley Cowburn has the story:

Chantal Da Silva1 April 2021 09:12

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Prime Boris Johnson is facing major backlash after his race equality commission found that structural racism is not an issue in the UK and made comments that some have said “glorify the slave trade” in an official report.

The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, which published its report on Wednesday, said the UK was no longer a country where the “system is deliberately rigged” against ethnic minorities.

Instead, the commission argued that the term “structural racism” was being “too liberally used”.

Read our latest report on the commission’s findings and the backlash the government is facing over the report:

Chantal Da Silva1 April 2021 08:45

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Keir Starmer has not spoken to predecessor Jeremy Corbyn in ‘five months’

Labour Leader Keir Starmer has revealed that he has not spoken with his predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn, in at least five months.

Mr Starmer made the admission during an interview with The Telegraph.

He did not expand on his relationship with Mr Corbyn.

However, earlier this year, lawyers for Mr Corbyn accused Mr Starmer of having made “inflammatory and disingenuous” attacks on the former Labour leader amid outrage over the party’s handling of antisemitism.

They said that Mr Corbyn’s suspension from the Labour Party “went behind an agreement to reinstate” him “at all levels”.

They said the former Labour leader had received “grossly unfair” treatment from the party he once led.

Chantal Da Silva1 April 2021 08:30

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New crime victims’ code comes into effect

A new Victims’ Code aimed at protecting and offering reassurance to victims of crime comes into effect today.

Under the new measure, victims of crime will always be told when an offender is due to leave prison, among other provisions.

The code lays out the minimum expectations that crime victims should have at each stage of the justice process.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland has said the new charter should provide relief to crime victims while also laying the groundwork for a new Victims’ Law, which MPs will discuss this summer.

“Our new Code provides victims with a simplified and stronger set of rights – making clear their entitlements at every step of the way as they recover from crime,” he said.

Chantal Da Silva1 April 2021 08:16

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Starmer says ‘British instinct’ against vaccine passports

Keir Starmer has said the use of vaccine passports to open up England’s economy could go against the “British instinct”.

Speaking with The Telegraph, the Labour leader said the government could face backlash from the public if vaccine passports are introduced when the coronavirus outbreak has been brought under control.

“My instinct is that, as the vaccine is rolled out, as the number of hospital admissions and deaths go down, there will be a British sense that we don’t actually want to go down this road,” he said.

The Labour leader’s comments came as a government review weighs whether a passport system, which would certify whether or not someone has been vaccinated, could be effective in reopening the economy.

Chantal Da Silva1 April 2021 07:58

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Keir Starmer says there is ‘no case’ for rejoining EU

Labour Leader Keir Starmer has said he believes there is “no case” for rejoining the EU now that a Brexit deal has been struck.

Speaking with The Telegraph, Mr Starmer, once a dedicated Remainer, said the “Remain-Leave” debate is over.

“We’ve left. We are no longer a member of the EU. We’ve got a deal, we’ve got to make that deal work,” the Labour leader said.

“There’s no case for rejoining the EU and I’ve been very clear about that. The Remain-Leave debate is over,” he said.

Chantal Da Silva1 April 2021 07:51

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Good morning and welcome to The Independent’’s live blog tracking the latest developments in UK politics.

Chantal Da Silva1 April 2021 07:48

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