Open Letter to Boris: Maintain Race Disparity Unit

Written by:
Rahul Verma
Read time:

Rt. Hon. Boris Johnson, 
We are writing to you to look for assurance that, as the likely next Prime Minister you will maintain and deepen the internationally recognised Race Disparity Unit.  
We are asking because you are the only candidate who has not signed up to Diversity2Win’s five pledges, created to ensure a more diverse Britain and Conservative Party:  
I will take a stand against all forms of racism 
I will champion diversity in public life 
I will maintain and build upon the Race Disparity Audit 
I will tackle criminal justice inequalities 
I will create a new immigration policy to create a global Britain 
The Race Disparity Unit, established in Autumn 2017, is a ground-breaking government project which has shone a light on the nature and diversity of social outcomes by ethnicity.  
Prior to 2017, these statistics in relation to black and ethnic minority group outcomes (across different public sectors) could not be found in one place, but the new Race Disparity Unit has brought this all together in one website, Ethnicity Facts and Figures. Moreover, it has successfully elevated tackling inequalities beyond tribal party politics. 
In order to better design policy to ensure that it doesn’t intentionally or unintentionally discriminate, policymakers need to understand existing inequalities and where the gaps lie.  
The benefits of the Race Disparity Unit have been clear. First, it has improved public understanding of the depth and nature of ethnic inequalities, and secondly the importance of data, particularly trusted statistics from within government.  
Thirdly it has focused ministers and senior civil servants on how effectively public services are being delivered, with the mantra: ‘Explain the racial inequalities, or change’.  
And fourthly, and perhaps most importantly, it has shown the government is committed to better understanding and responding to what the outgoing Prime Minister, Theresa May called ‘burning-social- injustices’. 
Across government these benefits have been widely recognised, by ministers, civil servants and community groups, because the Race Disparity Unit is part of the Cabinet Office. We are writing this letter to seek reassurance that the Race Disparity Unit will be allowed to continue the important role of drawing together data about ethnic inequalities, and will continue to receive political and financial support from the next Prime Minister. 
Dr Omar Khan, Runnymede Trust
Sir Simon Woolley, Operation Black Vote and Race Disparity Advisory Group
John Mayford, Olmec 
David Weaver, Coalition of Race Equality Organisations
Asif Afridi, BRAP 
Andrew Brown, BME Forum 
Dr Edie Friedman, Jewish Council for Racial Equality 
Sarah Mann, Friends, Families and Travellers 
Tebussam Rahid, Black Training and Enterprise Group 
Charles Kwaku-Odoi, Caribbean and African Health Network 
Sado Jirde, Black South West Network
Kunle Olulode, Voice for Change
Black Cultural Archive


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