The majority of people living in England feel strongly British regardless of their ethnicity, a major audit into race inequality has revealed.
A website launched by the government today showing how life can differ depending on race - apparently the first of its kind in the world - claims that almost every ethnic group in the England feels a strong sense of British identity.
Overall, 85% of the 7,343 people polled felt strongly that they belong to Britain.
But despite large disparities between different ethnic groups when it comes to issues like unemployment and education, race appears to have little effect for most people on how British they feel.
While 85% of white people reported a sense of belonging, 84% of Asian respondents and 81% of black people also agreed to strong feelings of Britishness.
Almost 8 in 10 mixed race people (79%) said they felt British.
The lowest reported feelings of belonging came from respondents whose race is categorised as “other”, with just 68% reporting strong feelings of Britishness.
However, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport - which carried out the survey - warned that the reliability of the data could be affected by small numbers of respondents from black, mixed and other ethnic backgrounds.
The statistics come amid a row that the audit risks creating a “false perception of victim status” and could promote “grievance culture”.
In a letter to The Times today, a number of prominent BAME activists - including former deputy mayor of London Munira Mirza - hit back at the government’s “crude and tendentious” approach to the issue, saying the policies could “harm the very communities they aspire to help”.
“All too often statistics are misused in a way that casts minorities as victims of racism and ‘white privilege’,” the letter reads.
But communities secretary Sajid Javid denied the claims, saying he believed the audit would have “quite the opposite impact”.
The Tory MP told Radio 4′s Today programme: “I think there will be people out there today taking note of this, whether they are from black, minority ethnic backgrounds or not, and thinking this is exactly the kind of thing they want their government to do.
“We are a government that said its going to work for everyone, a country that works for everyone and that means, where there are injustices, that we are doing everything we can to tackle and reveal them.”