The phrase “institutional racism” has been “misapplied” in recent years, said the man behind a landmark report on the subject

Dr Tony Sewell, chair of the Racial and Ethnic Disparity Commission, told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that the report found no evidence of institutional racism in the UK

The report, due to be released later on Wednesday, found that elite professions and success stories in education have been more diverse in recent years – but inequality also persists

Dr Sewell said that while there is “anecdotal evidence” of racism in the UK, the use of the term “institutional racism” needs to be reviewed

“Nobody denies that racism exists, we have found scattered evidence of it,” he said on Monday

“However, we found that the real evidence of institutional racism – no, that wasn’t there, we didn’t find that in our report”

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“We saw that the term institutional racism is sometimes misapplied. And it was sort of a catchphrase for microaggression or racist abuse. People use it interchangeably too I heard it on your own radio show – it’s just misused ”

He said, “We want to tell where there is solid evidence of this, then apply it””

“It creates a problem because people then declare themselves to be institutionally racist. For example, we recently heard that the education system was declaring itself to be institutionally racist If you look at the evidence behind it, it doesn’t

“In fact, we have found the exact opposite in terms of educational outcomes for ethnic minorities, where the vast majority of ethnic minorities are actually better off than the white majority, so you can’t just declare yourself institutionally racist either way”

Dr Sewell said the term “institutional racism” should be “properly applied” in the future, but said there was still much to be done to improve outcomes for ethnic minorities

He added, “We wanted institutional racism to be used where it needs to be used and applied properly, but we have some very targeted recommendations for changing the whole landscape for ethnic minorities, and I think that is Key thing

“It is the strategy we need to implement at multiple levels to build trust, promote fairness, empower agency, and achieve inclusivity – these are the key areas we believe we can drive this forward””

The report found that the wage gap between all ethnic minorities and the white majority population has shrunk to 2.3 percent and is of no concern for employees under the age of 30

It was also suggested that education is “the most emphatic success story of the British ethnic minority experience”

In response to Wednesday’s report, Shadow Secretary of State Lisa Nandy said that action was still needed

She told Sky News: “It is right to see that progress has been made and it is right to celebrate this, but that should by no means mean that we do not see the very real problems ahead of us and start on them act

“The government has report after report after report … what we really need now is action to implement them”

Tony Sewell

World News – UK – The phrase “institutional racism” has been misapplied, claims race report author Dr Sewell