“Not a Big Deal” – Most Diverse UK Leadership in History

For the first time in UK history, none of the four main government positions were held by white men. Is Vaughan Gething’s election as Wales’ first black leader the result of a cultural shift throughout Europe, or is the focus on increasing diversity in leadership drawing attention away from the systemic issues still negatively impacting people of colour?

Diverse UK Leadership

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For the first time in history, none of the UK’s four central governments are run by white men, highlighting the cultural shift that has taken place throughout Britain’s long history.

Vaughan Gething

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The most recent addition solidifying the UK’s new diversity milestone is Wales’ first black leader, Vaughan Gething, who was recently elected Welsh first minister.

Joining the Ranks

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Gething is joined by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf as three people of colour are elected to lead the country.

Gething’s Historic Election

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After finding out that he had won the election, Gething said, “We turn the page in the book of our nation’s history, a history that we write together.”

The Generational Dial

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He went on to say, “Not just because I have the honour of becoming the first Black leader in any European country, but because a generational dial has jumped too.”

Political Diversity Evolution

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Before 2002, the UK had never had a nonwhite cabinet minister, and though 22 years may seem like a long time, it is almost a blink of an eye when compared to Britain’s long-standing history.

Proud It’s Not a Big Deal

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When discussing the diversity of his cabinet, Prime Minister Sunak said, “I’m proud to be the first British Asian prime minister,” but “even prouder that it’s just not a big deal.”

Critique of Superficial Diversity

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However, this is not to say that there have been no critics looking at this milestone for UK diversity and voicing concerns,

The Underlying Issue

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Critics have come out to say that the diversity and representation among UK leadership does little to address the real underlying issues of racism and inequality within the country.

10- Kemi Badenoch

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One outspoken critic towards the UK’s diversity efforts comes Kemi Badenoch, the business secretary, minister for women and equalities, and now the Conservative party’s great Black hope.


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Badenoch has gone on record to say that she thinks EDI efforts are more often than not just wasteful and “counterproductive” for the goals they are attempting to accomplish.

Conservative Clash

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Despite Sunak being a member of the Conservative Party himself, Conservative Party members’ comments, like Kemi Badenoch’s, seem to have done little to dissuade the new Prime Ministers.

Addressing Criticism

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When responding to these critics, Sunak was quick to denounce any racist comments or action from his party, contrary to these accusations that he wasn’t doing enough to address the issues of racism in the government.

An Ongoing Problem

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Given these controversies and the UK’s imperialist past and its role in shaping the world’s views and attitudes towards race and identity is still a highly contentious issue

A Lack of Unity

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A major aspect contributing to this issue seems to be the lack of unity coming from officials when addressing racials problems within the country.

The British Invasion

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Former Home Secretary Suella Braverman said Britain is actually facing an “invasion” with the amount of immigrants let in due to these inclusivity efforts.

The Colour of Your Skin

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Former government adviser Samuel Kasumu told the BBC, “It is not the colour of your skin that matters when it comes to tackling racism, discrimination and bringing communities.

Content of Character

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Kasumu said, “It has to be the content of your character and your willingness to lead. And that is not happening now.”

Still Shifting

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Despite these comments, the elections of diverse leaders in the UK does seem to signal a potential shift in culture, but where this shift ultimately leads to remains to be seen.

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The post “Not a Big Deal” – Most Diverse UK Leadership in History first appeared on Edge Media.

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Keegan Leighty is a committed writer known for his impactful work in bringing attention to societal issues and injustices, using his platform to advocate for change and awareness. He also writes satire and stand up.

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