March 31, 2023

UK Covid news: Boris Johnson cancels trip to India as pressure grows for it to be added to travel red list

Latest updates: PM’s forthcoming trip to India cancelled as country’s total cases reach 15m Under-30s...

Latest updates: PM’s forthcoming trip to India cancelled as country’s total cases reach 15m

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12.59pm BST

In his media interview this morning Boris Johnson also defended the civil service, in the light of the recent revelations about lobbying, and insisted that it was wrong to assume that “loads” of civil servants combine working for the government with holding a private sector job. He said:

What we have done is got Nigel Boardman to look at the whole thing.

I just want to stress one thing to people who are sort of vaguely tuning in to this. People should not, in my view, form the impression that the upper echelons of the British civil service have got loads of people who are double-hatting, as it were, doing two jobs – it just isn’t true.

12.48pm BST

The report from the government’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, which was widely criticised when it was published last month, attempts to “normalise white supremacy”, human rights experts from the UN have warned. My colleague Aamna Mohdin has the story.

Related: No 10 race report tries to normalise white supremacy, say UN experts

Among other things, the report blames single parents for poor outcomes, ignoring the racial disparities and the racialised nature of poor outcomes that exist despite an increased prevalence of single-parent families in every demographic. The report’s conclusion that racism is either a product of the imagination of people of African descent or of discrete, individualised incidents ignores the pervasive role that the social construction of race was designed to play in society, particularly in normalising atrocity, in which the British state and institutions played a significant role.

Stunningly, the report also claims that, while there might be overt acts of racism in the UK, there is no institutional racism. The report offers no evidence for this claim, but openly blames identity politics, disparages complex analyses of race and ethnicity using qualitative and quantitative research, proffers shocking misstatements and/or misunderstandings about data collection and mixed methods research, cites “pessimism,” “linguistic inflation,” and “emotion” as bases to distrust data and narratives associated with racism and racial discrimination, and attempts to delegitimise data grounded in lived experience while also shifting the blame for the impacts of racism to the people most impacted by it.

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