MP slams UK Government for blocking highly qualified black candidate from board

Kevin Brennan MP has called a UK Government Minister “disgraceful” for blocking the only black candidate for a senior job with a rejection of “tokenism”.

Government Minister Matthew Hancock blocked the appointment of former Arts Council executive Althea Efunshile to Channel 4’s board, despite her being recommended by the independent body Ofcom.

The board of directors at Channel 4 are all-white and only has three women on it.

Mr Brennan, the Deputy Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, responding to Matthew Hancock’s comments about tokenism during Culture, Media and Sport Oral Questions this morning, said:

“Matthew Hancock’s remarks this morning are very concerning.

“To say that the appointment of this highly qualified and recommended candidate would have been tokenism is disgraceful and his argument that ‘the four best candidates got the job’ just doesn’t cut it. We’ve had no transparency over the criteria for the appointments and no clarity on whether the same process was followed for each candidate, with multiple reports saying they were not.

“The Minister’s complacent attitude and his dismissal of the very serious questions around the appointments to the Channel 4 board betrays his total failure to grasp the severity of this issue. Those questions still need answering.”