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Why the government’s race report sparked a furious backlash – podcast 

Last summer the death of George Floyd sparked a wave of protests across the US that quickly spread to the UK over policing, racism and inequality. In response, Boris Johnson announced the setting up of a commission to investigate the state of racial inequalities in the UK. Last week its chair, Tony Sewell, came back with a 258-page report that has sparked a widespread backlash.

The Guardian’s community affairs correspondent, Aamna Mohdin, tells Rachel Humphreys that alongside campaigners, there are now criticisms being voiced by those who were asked to contribute to the report and from Doreen Lawrence, who called it a ‘green light’ for racists. Even the prime minister himself appears to distancing himself from it, saying: “There are some interesting things in it. I’m not going to say we agree with every word.”

The report looked at racial disparities in schooling, employment, policing and health but rather than focusing on structural inequalities, it instead explained the inequalities by appealing to economics, geography and family units.

Last week, as the angry response to the report intensified, the commission gave a further statement saying: “We have never said that racism does not exist in society or in institutions. We say the contrary: racism is real and we must do more to tackle it.”

Photograph: The Conservative Party

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