Hatfield councillor opens up on quitting as PM’s ethnic minority adviser
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Hatfield councillor Samuel Kasumu has revealed he quit his role as Boris Johnson’s ethnic minority adviser over fears the Government is exploiting cultural divisions.
Cllr Kasumu announced he would stand down from the role as special adviser for civil society and communities in April, eventually leaving in May, having previously offered the PM his resignation in February before retracting it.
In his resignation letter, he accused the Conservative Party of pursuing ‘politics steeped in division’ and that their success in attracting ethnic minority voters had been ‘eroded’ after the 2015 General Election.
He told The Guardian he quit his role over concerns the Tory government was trying to exploit division in society.
“There are some people in the government who feel like the right way to win is to pick a fight on the culture war and to exploit division,” he said.
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“I worry about that. It seems like people have very short memories and they’ve already forgotten Jo Cox.”
In June 2016, the UK was left stunned when Labour MP Cox was shot and stabbed in her West Yorkshire constituency by a far-right supporter.
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Cllr Kasumu wants the Government to drive cultural change, continuing: “If I was going to go to William Hill today and place a bet on what the most likely option is, I’d probably say a Jo Cox, a Stephen Lawrence, a Windrush scandal is where we’re headed if you don’t find a way to overcome this cultural moment.
“I feel like the government must be the ones to try to help drive that change.
“The vast majority in government recognise that barriers exist for certain groups and we’re not a post-racial society.
“The battle is: to what extent do you accept the nuance and to what extent do you want to wage war? And I think the majority of people want to just find a way forward for us to become a lot more cohesive than we already are. A few people may have different opinions.”
Cllr Kasumu began his role within the Government back in 2019, and has been councillor for Hatfield Villages since 2018 having been re-elected in this year’s local elections.