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Cabinet Minister Mark Harper Dismisses Notions of Race Issues Within the Tories

Defense Minister, Mark Harper (Credits: New Civil Engineer)

A senior cabinet minister has pushed back against accusations that the Conservative Party has a racial issue despite facing criticism for accepting substantial donations from a donor accused of racism.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper defended the party’s stance, highlighting the diversity within its ranks, including the current cabinet, which he described as “the most ethnically diverse cabinet there has ever been.”

Harper emphasized that the Conservative Party welcomes members from all backgrounds and races as long as they share the party’s values and political approach.

Minister Mark Harper (Credits: The Independent)

The controversy stems from donations totaling at least £10 million from businessman Frank Hester, who faced backlash after allegedly making derogatory remarks about former Labour MP Diane Abbott, including expressing hostility towards black women.

Despite labeling Hester’s reported comments as “racist” and “wrong,” the Conservative Party has refused calls to return his donations.

Harper declined to comment on reports of an additional £5 million donation from Hester, stating that he was not involved in party finances. He asserted that any future contributions would be disclosed as per the standard procedure.

While Harper argued that Hester’s apology should be accepted, former Downing Street advisor Samuel Kasumu expressed disappointment in the minister’s stance.

Mark Harper (Credits: Sky News)

Kasumu criticized the notion that having a diverse cabinet absolves the party of addressing racial issues, emphasizing that leadership should be defined by character and a commitment to tackling racism and discrimination.

Kasumu cited the example of Suella Braverman, a former home secretary of Indian descent, as evidence that diversity alone does not guarantee effective leadership on race-related matters.

He underscored the importance of substantive action and leadership in fostering inclusivity and combating discrimination within the Conservative Party and broader society.

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