Prime Minister's civil society adviser steps down

The departure of Samuel Kasumu, who also advises Number 10 on race, emerges just after the publication of a controversial report on racism but Downing St says any suggestion the two events are linked is wrong

10 Downing Street (Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
10 Downing Street (Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The Prime Minister’s special adviser for civil society and communities is to leave his post in May, the day after an official report downplayed the problem of structural racism in the UK. 

Samuel Kasumu, who is also co-founder of Inclusive Boards, an executive search firm specialising in creating more diverse business leadership, has been in the government role, which also covers advising on matters of race, since August 2019.

He first attempted to resign from the role in February but retracted his resignation. 

The government report, produced by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, has come in for criticism from a range of people and organisations. 

They include the race equality think tank the Runnymede Trust and the Coalition of Race Equality Organisations.

But a spokesperson for 10 Downing Street denied any link between the publication of the report and Kasumu’s resignation.

“Mr Kasumu has played an incredibly valuable role during his time at No 10,” said a statement. 

“As he previously set out, he will be leaving government in May – this has been his plan for several months and has not changed. 

“Any suggestion that this decision has been made this week or that this is linked to the CRED report is completely inaccurate.”

Kasumu played a key role in a vaccination campaign broadcast this week, featuring Lenny Henry encouraging black British people to get their Covid jab.  

Patrick Vernon, associate director of the Centre for Ageing Better, said about the CRED report during a panel discussion hosted by the Runnymede Trust: “We should take the report with a pinch of salt because it is coming from a parallel universe.”

Kasumu could not be reached for comment. 

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