6% of people think British society isn’t racist, new polls shows

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK
A new survey has asked Brits if UK society is racist, amid global protests around the death of George Floyd at the hands of US police last month. (PA)

A new poll has revealed how racist British people consider themselves.

A small portion of Brits believe the UK isn’t a racist society, according to the findings of the poll.

The new survey, published by YouGov on Thursday, asked 5146 adults the question: “To what extent, if at all, do you think the UK is a racist society?”

According to the results 6% answered “not racist at all”, while 8% of people believe the UK is “very racist”, while nearly half - or 44% - believe British society is “fairly racist”.

The data comes amid global protests over the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in the US.

The new poll asked adults if they thought the UK was a racist society. (YouGov)

Around 36% of respondents said Britain was “not very racist”. A further 7% said they did not know.

Mr Floyd died after a white officer held him down by pressing a knee into his neck in Minneapolis on 25 May, sparking days of protest across the world.

In support of the Black Lives Matter movement, peaceful demonstrations were held in UK cities such as London on Wednesday and Birmingham and Bristol on Thursday.


The survey also published results according to demographics such as respondents' political views. (YouGov)

YouGov also revealed the demographics of respondents in the the survey, breaking down answers into categories such as age and political views.

Of Labour supporters, 13% said the UK was very racist, while a quarter said the nation was not very racist. Among Conservative voters, 3% and 53% answered the same two questions.

Meanwhile, the majority of people who answered “very racist” (14%) were aged between 18-24, while just 4% of those aged 65 or over agreed with the statement.

A larger portion of young people aged 18-24 believed the UK is a racist society than those who do not. (YouGov)

Around 4% of younger people said Britain was not racist, while 5% of the older age group said they believed the UK was not.

Campaigners across the UK have highlighted the inequalities in society, especially amongst those who identify as BAME (Black, Asian and Ethnic Minorities).

According to data published last month by the Office for National Statistics, black men and women are more than four times more likely to suffer a coronavirus-related death than white people.

Figures released on Wednesday showed people from BAME backgrounds are more likely to be fined or arrested under coronavirus regulations than white people in London.

A protestor holds a placard during the Black Lives Matter protest at Hyde Park on Wednesday, 3 June. (PA)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “appalled and sickened” to see what happened to Mr Floyd, but urged people to maintain social distancing as they protested.

Police chief constables from across the UK also issued a joint statement, saying they “stand alongside all those across the globe who are appalled and horrified”.

Meanwhile, campaign group Stand Up To Racism announced an online-only rally this Sunday, with speakers to discuss “how we turn the new wave of anger over racism and injustice into an effective movement for change”.

An online fundraiser for the UK chapter of the Black Lives Matter movement had reached more than £270,000 on Thursday morning, with the funds going to “support black life against institutional racism”.

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