Tony Sewell loses honorary college degree over controversial race report


The author of a widely condemned and government-backed report on the race has slammed a university for withdrawing its honorary degree offer due to controversy surrounding it.

Tony Sewell, 62, has been appointed by Boris Johnson, a friend of his and former colleague, to chair a body which produced a report suggesting there was no evidence of institutional racism in the UK and that the Movable slavery was not just a question of “profit and suffering”. .

The Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities (CRED) was created following the global Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, but its findings were met with backlash from politicians and equality campaigners who accused the group of “gathering data” and pushing “propaganda”, while the United Nations called it an “attempt to normalize white supremacy”.

The experts named in the report publicly expressed shock at their alleged involvement, and the president invoked Bob Marley’s words to defend his role in the report.

The University of Nottingham approached Mr Sewell with the intention of awarding him the honor in 2019, but then contacted him in December to explain that they were unable to go through with the offer due to the “political controversy” that had followed since the CRED report.

In an interview with Daily mail, the academic said, “I have helped thousands of black children from disadvantaged backgrounds get into college. I am a single man.

“Corn [Nottingham University] said it would no longer be appropriate to award me the degree because they did not want to offend the students at an award ceremony.

“How can you offend students with a report that says the equality watchdog should have more power, that checks and searches should be improved and that we need to bring more people from ethnic minorities into the ‘university?”

Tony Sewell has been appointed by Boris Johnson to chair the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities


Referring to doomed entertainers R Kelly and Bill Cosby, Mr Sewell continued: “These are the type of people you decide to take the honors away from. But they [the university] acted like cowards, subjected to pressure groups.

“I thought the job of a university was to deal with complex issues? But universities in England are like the Soviet Union. There is no freedom of expression. »

Mr. Sewell is the CEO of Generating Genius, a charity aimed at helping black children gain access to higher education.

A spokesperson for the University of Nottingham said: ‘The University has strict criteria governing the awarding of honorary degrees, as these are awarded at our public graduation ceremonies. The criteria prevent us from attributing them to figures who are the subject of political controversy.

“Since making the decision to confer an honorary degree at the end of 2019, the university’s honorary degrees committee has noted that Mr. Sewell has been the subject of political controversy in 2021 and, in as such, determined that it would no longer be appropriate to award the degree.

“In withdrawing the offer, the University is categorically not passing judgment on Mr Sewell personally or expressing an opinion on his work. It is simply to ensure that we apply the same criteria to everyone we consider for the award of an honorary degree from the University of Nottingham.

The spokesperson added: ‘We fully appreciate this is disappointing news and last December we offered Mr Sewell a sincere apology along with an explanation of the decision. He remains a notable alumnus of the University, and it is deeply regrettable that we had to withdraw the offer.


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