DOWNING Street has prompted fury after a government-backed report argued the slave period was not only “about profit and suffering”.

The Number 10 study, set up in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, concluded that there is no evidence of institutional racism in Britain, though there is evidence that “overt” prejudice exists.

Tony Sewell, the chairman of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, denied racism is structural and argued there is data showing some ethnic minorities are doing well in the jobs market and education.

The report has prompted a furious backlash among campaigners, with Maurice Mcleod of Race on the Agenda commenting: “We would argue that you cannot tackle structural racism if you don’t believe it exists.”

READ MORE: Campaigners hit back as No 10 report finds no evidence of institutional racism in UK

A spokesperson for BLM UK added that the report had failed to “explore disproportionality in school exclusion, eurocentrism and censorship in the curriculum, or the ongoing attainment gap in higher education”.

They also felt the report “overlooks disproportionality in the criminal justice system”.

The final report was published today after much of it had already been trailed in the media. Campaigners were stunned by a section on slavery and education.

Across the UK, education should focus on elements of the “Caribbean experience” that demonstrate how “culturally African people transformed themselves into a remodelled African/Britain”, it said.

It argued education on the British Empire should put a focus on how “Britishness” influenced former colonies.

READ MORE: Westminster's commission on race is just another whitewash

In the foreword, Sewell wrote: “One great example would be a dictionary or lexicon of well known British words which are Indian in origin.

“There is a new story about the Caribbean experience which speaks to the slave period not only being about profit and suffering but how culturally African people transformed themselves into a re-modelled African/Britain.”

Labour’s David Lammy called the findings an “insult to anybody and everybody across this country who experiences institutional racism”.

He added Boris Johnson has “let an entire generation of young white and black British people down”.

Ross Greer, the Scottish Greens’ external affairs spokesperson, said the report is “simply disgraceful”.  

READ MORE: SNP considering coalition with Greens even if party wins majority at Holyrood

“It denies the reality of British history and the very real lived experience of institutional racism felt by people of colour in this country today,” he told The National.

“Any report which ignores the fact that children from BAME backgrounds are far more likely to be excluded from school and far more likely to be stopped and searched or arrested by the police has no credibility at all.

“That the report even tries to put a positive spin on slavery, implying it was like some kind of enriching cultural exchange, is just disgusting.

“From the murder of Stephen Lawrence to the needless loss of life at Grenfell Tower to the wrongful deportation of members of the Windrush generation, the UK undeniably has racism in its bones. The authors of this report should hang their heads in shame for providing cover to an unquestionably racist government."

Following the publication of the report, Boris Johnson said his government “remains fully committed to building a fairer Britain and taking the action needed to address disparities wherever they exist”.

The National:

The 264-page report makes 24 recommendations, which the commission says have “tried to account for the messy reality of life” and are aimed at all disadvantaged people.

These include calls for increased scrutiny of body-worn police footage of stop and searches, more detailed, publicly available data, more local recruitment within police forces, and improved training to help officers interact with the communities they serve.

A pilot should be developed in four police areas where young people with low level possession of class B drugs should helped by public health services and diverted away from the criminal justice system, it recommends.

It also calls for an Office for Health Disparities to be established to tackle health inequalities, and for a review on action to address the underlying issues facing families.