Queen’s Jubilee: Survey finds UK ‘at ease’ with ethnic diversity despite soaring race inequalities

Some 84 per cent of the public would be comfortable with an ethnic minority Prime Minister but research shows that a Black person is 12 times less likely to lead Britain than their white counterpart

Nadine White
Race Correspondent
Wednesday 18 May 2022 14:58
Comments

Britain is increasingly ‘at ease’ with its diversity despite soaring racial inequalities within the cost of living crisis, according to a new survey commissioned ahead of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Around three-quarters of Britons now feel that today’s society’s diversity is a part of British culture, rather than a threat to it, the study has indicated; marking a  significant shift from 2011, when more than half the public said that having a variety of backgrounds and cultures undermined British culture.

Some 84 per cent of the public would be comfortable with an ethnic minority Prime Minister succeeding Boris Johnson, and 10 per cent say this would be a negative development, the new research for Jubilfore Britain report by identity thinktank British Future, which marks its 10th anniversary today.

Previous research by Dr Faiza Shaheen, Director of the Centre for Labour and Social Studies, found that a Black person is 12 times less likely to lead the UK compared to a white person due to institutional racism within the education system, labour market and politics.

“When the Queen first came to the throne Britain was still debating whether we could or should be a multi-ethnic society. Seventy years on we know who we are – the diversity of our society is a settled fact,” Sunder Katwala, Director of British Future, said.

“The debate we now need in the 2020s is what we should do to make that work fairly for Britons of every creed and colour. All of our institutions have roles to play, from the monarchy itself to business, politics, culture and sport.

“What our research finds is that there’s much common ground on which to build a positive agenda for how we live well together in our shared society.”

However, there is a long way to go before Britain achieves racial equality as disparities blight of lives of minoritised groups within every institution - from politics and education to business and entertainment.

Less than half of those surveyed feel that relations between different ethnic groups have improved over the last ten years. And while a third of ethnic minority Britons think we will make progress on combating racism in the decade to come, a quarter fear that things may get worse.

Ethnic minority Britons were also nearly twice as likely to be worried about unemployment today as white respondents, by 23 per cent to 12 per cent. They are also twice as likely to be worried about opportunities for young people.

The report explores where the public is on some of the key issues facing Britain in 2022 and beyond. After ten turbulent years since the last Jubilee, the new research looks at the state of the nation in 2022 and asks how much we have changed as a society.

It is based upon the views of some 2,00 adults in Britain between 28 February-7 March 2022, with a boosted sample of 636 people in Scotland; 683 people from an ethnic minority background; and an additional sample of 302 people aged 16-18, to offer a rare snapshot of what the voters of tomorrow are thinking too.

The study also examines attitudes to national identity and its symbols such as the Union Jack which Britons widely associate with the monarchy (72 per cent) and pride and patriotism (65 per cent), while a quarter of people (25 per cent) associate it with racism and extremism – an increase of 10 points since 2012.

 The meaning of England’s flag is a contentious matter for some; a third of the public (32 per cent) it represents racism and extremism, including for 43 per cent of ethnic minorities.

Most of the public (51 per cent) feel that the Jubilee events could help to bring people together. But this is felt less keenly by young people and ethnic minority Britons (39 per cent).

Six in ten people in Britain (58%) still want to keep the monarchy while a quarter (25 per cent) feel the end of the queen’s reign would be the right time to move on and become a republic.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in