Boris Johnson appoints aide who said institutional racism was a myth and railed against multiculturalism


Boris Johnson has appointed a Downing Street aide who railed against multiculturalism and said institutional racism was a myth to lead a commission on racial equality.

Munira Mirza, director of the Downing Street policy unit who also worked for Mr Johnson while he was Mayor of London, said it was not racism but “anti-racist lobby groups” to blame for some of the problems ethnic minorities faced.

She has also called for the government to “dismantle the countless diversity policies that encourage people to see everything through the prism of racial difference”.

The prime minister this week announced a “cross-governmental commission” to look at all aspects of racial inequality in the UK in the wake of global Black Lives Matter protests.

Mr Johnson said there was “much more that we need to do” to combat racism, though he also urged ethnic minorities to consider the progress that had been made.

But the commission will reportedly be led by Ms Mirza, who has written dozens of controversial articles for fringe right-wing website Spiked Online, in some of which she lays out her views on race.

In one piece from September 2017 the aide attacks the findings of a previous racial equality review by Labour MP David Lammy and argued that it was wrong to point the finger at institutional racism.

In the article she suggested that “the current accusations of institutional racism by lobbyists and activists” were “a perception more than a reality” and that the accusations of racism themselves led to worse outcomes for people from ethnic minorities, particularly in the justice system.

“When anti-racist lobby groups criticise the authorities for their racism, it is not surprising that BAME communities start to believe they cannot trust their own professional solicitors,” she argued. “They then make decisions that might harm their chances in the justice system.”

In another 2017 article, this time for the Spectator, she claimed that “anti-racism is becoming weaponised across the political spectrum”.

Source: Boris Johnson appoints aide who said institutional racism was a myth and railed against multiculturalism

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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