Departing Yorkshire CCC chairman Roger Hutton to give 'candid' testimony on racism scandal to MPs

Yorkshire CCC’s outgoing chairman Roger Hutton intends to give a “candid account” of the club’s racism scandal when he appears in front of MPs in ten days’ time.

Roger Hutton has resigned as Yorkshire CCC chairman.

Mr Hutton told The Yorkshire Post he fully intends to give evidence to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport Committee hearing, which is taking place on November 16.

He said the forum will give him and others greater liberty to speak freely about some of the circumstances surrounding a yet-to-be-published report which found former player Azeem Rafiq had been the victim of racial harassment and bullying.

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Yorkshire have claimed they have been unable to release the report for legal reasons, while the club and Mr Rafiq are also involved in an ongoing employment tribunal case.

But the DCMS hearing is covered by Parliamentary privilege, giving witnesses legal immunity to speak openly without being sued. Mr Rafiq is also going to give evidence to the hearing, while Yorkshire CCC chief executive Mark Arthur and director of cricket Martyn Moxon are understood to also have been called to give evidence to the committee of cross-party MPs.

Mr Hutton said he hoped the hearing could represent a turning point on the scandal.

“I think there is a great opportunity at the DCMS. One of the complexities of this is all the legal complications and the ongoing employment tribunal surrounding these issues. The committee is an arena where everyone can talk freely and openly with the benefit of privilege.

“That actually is probably going to be the arena where the most useful information and the most transparency arises so everyone can see exactly what has happened.

“That should be the platform for change if it hasn’t already started.

He added: “I will give an honest and candid opinion of the things that I am aware of and answer the questions I am given to the best of my ability.”

An eight-page summary of the report was released by Yorkshire CCC in September and noted that although 26 witnesses had participated in investigating 43 allegations made by Mr Rafiq, “many individuals declined to participate and this impacted on its ability to make conclusive findings one way or another”.

Mr Hutton said that had been “a huge disappointment”. “Some people named in the report failed to participate, which was frustrating. The more people that would have participated, the stronger the report would have been.”

DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight MP said: “I welcome further resignations by YCCC board members following that of Roger Hutton earlier today and the appointment of Lord Patel as the new chairman.

“Despite these resignations, the club must be held accountable for its culture and how that impacted young cricketers and we, the DCMS Committee, will seek to do that.

“It is becoming clear that the club’s failure to tackle the racial harassment of Azeem Rafiq was part of a much deeper cultural problem, with other players now coming forward.

“Azeem Rafiq will appear before the DCMS Committee on Tuesday 16 November. We are in the process of confirming witness appearances by senior club officials and the former chairman.

“It is also our intention to speak in public or in private to the ECB to get a better understanding of their role and examine what the future might hold for YCCC.”

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