Appoint ex-Archbishop of York John Sentamu to lead Yorkshire CCC inquiry, says Richard Caborn

Former Archbishop of York John Sentamu should be brought in to lead an independent inquiry into the issue of institutional racism at Yorkshire CCC, ex-sports minister Richard Caborn has suggested.

The former Sheffield Central MP and keen cricket fan said Lord Sentamu would be the “ideal person” to examine what has happened at the county which has been plunged into crisis by allegations of institutional racism from former player Azeem Rafiq.

“John knows the culture of Yorkshire and the Yorkshire people,” he said. “It needs somebody who would bring the type of gravitas that John would bring.”

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Mr Caborn said such an appointment would ensure Yorkshire CCC was not “marking its own homework” when reassessing the claims - as has been promised by new chairman Lord Kamlesh Patel who has criticised the “flawed” original investigation into the matter.

Former Archbishop of York John Sentamu has been suggested as the right person to lead a potential inquiry into racism at Yorkshire CCC. Picture: Tony Johnson

When asked by The Yorkshire Post whether he would be willing to get involved in the manner suggested by Mr Caborn, Lord Sentamu said: “I leave the matter entirely in the hands of those who are responsible.”

An inquiry commissioned by Yorkshire CCC found Mr Rafiq had been the victim of racial harassment and bullying but did not make a determination on his central allegation of institutional racism at the club.

A summary of the report findings released by Yorkshire CCC in September said: “Many individuals declined to participate in the investigation, and this impacted on its ability to make conclusive findings one way or another.”

The ensuing crisis - sparked by a report that the investigation had not upheld one of the Mr Rafiq’s complaints about being called a “P***” by a fellow player, subsequently confirmed to be Gary Ballance - has led to sponsors deserting the club and the recent resignations of chairman Roger Hutton and chief executive Mark Arthur.

Former sports minister Richard Caborn has suggested Lord Sentamu's involvement.

Mr Hutton’s replacement Lord Patel has promised a fresh examination of whether the club is institutionally racist and on Friday the club announced Mohinderpal Sethi QC will lead an independent investigation process to consider any complaints of harassment and discrimination being lodged through a new whistleblowing hotline.

Mr Caborn welcomed the appointment but said he believed Lord Sentamu could work alongside Mr Sethi.

“What they have done is right but they need to go further. I think they ought to seriously consider bringing him in.”

Mr Caborn said his idea is inspired by the work of the Hillsborough Independent Panel, which was chaired by the Bishop of Liverpool James Jones.

That panel’s report led to the quashing of the original inquest into the Hillsborough disaster and the opening of fresh inquests, which concluded in 2016 the fans were unlawfully killed.

Mr Caborn's comments come ahead of Mr Rafiq giving evidence to MPs about his experiences tomorrow, with Mr Hutton and Mr Arthur also called as witnesses.

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