Experts named in government’s ‘flawed’ race report ‘shocked’ to see names in evidence contributor list

Two authors named as “stakeholders” in a landmark report into race disparities in Britain have hit out at claims they provided evidence, with one protesting: “I was never consulted”.

It comes as the government faces a backlash over the finding of 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.

The appendix to the 258-page document lists professional bodies, frontline workers, charities, and academics as stakeholders the commission thanked for providing “evidence during the course of its work”.

S.I Martin, an author who specialises in the field of black British history and literature, who is named in the report, told The Independent: “I was never consulted, I don’t know what record they have of contacting me.”

“I just would not have agreed to have been consulted even if I had been asked, but I’ve not been asked. I have been invited to things in the past — not by this administration — I just don’t go, I just refuse. It’s just not something I do.”

Pressed on his reaction to seeing his name in the report, he said it was a “growing shock”, asking: “How many other people have been roped unknowingly into this? Rubber-stamping this nonsense.

“I am not naive enough either to expect either an explanation or an apology from anyone in government for this.”

Describing the report as a “horrible, typical, right-wing fig leaf”, he went on: “I would ask them when did they consult? Who did they ask? Who are these stakeholders and participants? On which planet do they live that they can arrive at that conclusion?”

A second academic, Stephen Bourne, a historian of black Britain, also told The Independent he felt “manipulated” at his name appearing in the report as being consulted by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities.

Mr Bourne, who described the report as “flawed” and insisted institutional racism does exist, claims to have been contacted by No 10 adviser Samuel Kasumu. After having a conversation with him in June, he was later invited to a Downing Street roundtable of historians of Black Britain in October 2020.

“Nothing was explained to me,” he said. “I wrote down some of their names of the people there [at the roundtable], and when I googled them and the penny dropped that they were this commission.”

Mr Bourne added he later contacted Downing Street and read the “riot act” to Mr Kasumu, saying: “How dare you do that, I said that is so unprofessional so rude to invite me to what I thought was going to be what we discussed, a round table discussion of historians of black Britain. And it turns out to be this commission which I’ve never heard of. I said you should have explained all of this”.

No 10 has been contacted for comment.

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