Claims that there is no evidence of institutional racism in Britain are “complete nonsense”, an academic has said in response to a landmark study by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities.

A selective summary of the commission’s report, put out by the Government Equalities Office, said while there is still overt racism in Britain, claims that it is still institutionally racist were not borne out by the evidence.

Responding to the summary, Prof Andrews, from Birmingham City University, claimed the study was “not a genuine effort to understand racism in Britain”.

He told the PA news agency: “It’s complete nonsense. It goes in the face of all the actual existing evidence.

“This is not a genuine effort to understand racism in Britain. This is a PR move to pretend the problem doesn’t exist.

“The evidence is clear, it’s been there for a long time around ethnic penalties in employment, around the problems in education, around the problems with policing.”

It comes as commission chairman Tony Sewell said while there was anecdotal evidence of racism, he denied there was any proof that it was structural, saying there was data to show some ethnic minorities were doing well in the jobs market and in education.

Prof Andrews added: “This (report) will give people an out to say ‘actually we don’t need to do anything. We don’t need to address this’. So in that sense, it is damaging.

“But that was the point of this report. It was to give the Government an out so they don’t have to address racism.”

Speaking on LBC this morning, MP David Lammy said: “British people, white and black, are dying to turn the page on racism.

“They are working in food banks to support the marginalised. They are teaching in after-school clubs to raise awareness. They are working in rehabilitation centres to end the cycle of disproportionate mass incarceration.

“Boris Johnson has just slammed the door in their faces by telling them that they’re idealists, they are wasting their time. He has let an entire generation of young white and black British people down.

“Just as people marched against South Africa to free Mandela and Margaret Thatcher stood in their way. Just as folk got together and marched for an enquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence and John Major stood in their way. Now young people across the country come together and say ‘yes, black lives do matter’, and guess what, Boris Johnson stands in their way.

“Let’s not forget that this report was rushed out in response to the overwhelming desire for change after the murder of George Floyd where thousands of people rallied for the black men, women and children suffering still, excluded in this country because of institutional racism.

“This report could have been a turning point and a moment to come together. Instead, it has chosen to divide us once more and keep us debating the existence of racism rather than doing anything about it.”

Dr Halima Begum, chief executive of the race equality think tank, the Runnymede Trust, said it was “deeply, deeply worrying” that the commission had denied the existence of institutional racism.

She said: “Frankly, by denying the evidence of institutional racism and tinkering with issues like unconscious bias training and use of the term ‘BAME’, I think they’ve insulted every ethnic minority in this country – the people who continue to experience racism on a daily basis.”