London, Nov 8 : Barack Obama would have found it impossible to become Prime Minister in Britain because of institutional racism within the British political system, the equality watchdog chief has claimed
Trevor Phillips, the chairman of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, believes that the public would embrace a Black leader, but the system would prevent him from getting to the top.
Phillips cited the fact that there are only 15 ethnic-minority MPs in Westminster, noting that "the problem is not the electorate, the problem is the machine."
"If Barack Obama had lived here I would be very surprised if even somebody as brilliant as him would have been able to break through the institutional stranglehold on power within the Labour Party," The Telegraph quoted Philips, as saying.
"The parties and the unions and the think-tanks are all very happy to sign up to the general idea of advancing the cause of minorities but in practice they would like somebody else to do the business. It's institutional racism," he added.
Phillips claimed that The Conservatives have done better than Labour at increasing the number of Black and Asian candidates.
He said he opposed all-black shortlists but said "positive action" was needed by all parties. His views were supported by Adam Afriyie, Conservative MP for Windsor, who said he did not believe that he would see a black PM in his lifetime.