Majority of black Britons think the Conservative Party is institutionally racist

Victoria Bell
·2-min read
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2020/06/21: Black Lives Matter protesters sit in  front of the Houses of Parliament as activists give speeches during the demonstration. Black Lives Matter protests continue in the United Kingdom after the death of George Floyd killed by a police officer in Minneapolis. (Photo by Dave Rushen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Black Lives Matter protesters sit in front of the Houses of Parliament. (Getty)

The majority of black Britons believe the Conservative Party is institutionally racist, according to a new poll.

A CNN poll, conducted amid ongoing Black Lives Matter antiracism protests, found that 58% of black people and 39% of white people in the UK said the Tories are institutionally racist.

The survey of 1,535 British adults also found that 55% of black people don’t trust the Tory government to prevent another Windrush-type scandal, while 39% of white people believe the same.

During the scandal, at least 83 people who had come to the UK legally from Commonwealth countries were wrongly deported.

People gather for a protest, organised by Black Lives Matter, at the Parliament Square in central London, Sunday, June 21, 2020, in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, USA last month that has led to anti-racism protests in many countries calling for an end to racial injustice. Anti-racism demonstrators are holding a fourth weekend of protests across the U.K.(AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
People gather at Parliament Square in central London on Sunday. (AP)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2020/06/21: The Earl Haig Memorial in Whitehall has been defaced with Black Lives Matter graffiti. Black Lives Matter protests continue in the United Kingdom after the death of George Floyd killed by a police officer in Minneapolis. (Photo by Dave Rushen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
The Earl Haig Memorial in Whitehall was defaced with Black Lives Matter graffiti. (Getty)
British police officers keep a watchful eye on people at a protest, organised by Black Lives Matter, at the Parliament Square in central London, Sunday, June 21, 2020, in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, USA last month that has led to anti-racism protests in many countries calling for an end to racial injustice. Anti-racism demonstrators are holding a fourth weekend of protests across the U.K.(AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
Police officers at a protest, organised by Black Lives Matter, at Parliament Square in central London at the weekend. (AP)

The poll follows largely peaceful Black Lives Matter protests in London, Coventry and Newcastle over the weekend – the latest in a series of antiracism demonstrations in recent weeks.

The UK protests began as support for protests in America after the death of George Floyd, but have shone a spotlight on racism in the UK.

Boris Johnson has acknowledged several times in the past month that there is racism in Britain.

He responded to the protests by announcing a government commission to look into racial inequalities, but immediately prompted criticism by saying he wanted to end “the sense of victimisation”.

“We have to acknowledge that when thousands of people march peacefully for Black Lives Matter, you can’t ignore that. I, as a leader, as someone in government, I can’t ignore the strength of feeling,” he wrote in a Telegraph comment piece.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson joins a socially distanced lesson during a visit to Bovingdon Primary School in Bovingdon, Hemel Hempstead, England, Friday June 19, 2020. (Steve Parsons/Pool via AP)
Boris Johnson, here during a visit to a primary school last Friday, said there is racism in Britain. (Steve Parsons/Pool via AP)

He told broadcasters: “What I really want to do as prime minister is change the narrative so we stop the sense of victimisation and discrimination, we stamp out racism and we start to have a real sense of expectation of success.”

Labour’s shadow women and equalities secretary Marsha de Cordova described the comments as “condescending”.

Johnson has been condemned for racist comments in the past.

He once wrote that Muslim women who wore burkas chose to “go around looking like letterboxes” and in a 2002 article, also for The Telegraph, he gave an infamous description of black people in Africa bearing “watermelon smiles” and used the racist term “piccaninnies”.