New figures reveal not a single person from with an ethnic background has joined the senior ranks – despite a drive to make the top brass more diverse.

All 132 of the most senior military jobs – including generals, admirals and air chiefs – are held by white officers.

It is believed the highest non-white service personnel are an Air Commodore in the RAF, a Commodore in the Royal Navy and a Colonel in the Army.

Defence chiefs last night insisted they are working on fresh plans to make the senior ranks more inclusive – but claim it could take 20 years for new recruits to reach top slots.

Ministers have set a target of taking at least ten per cent of all new recruits from a non-white background by 2020.

But figures obtained under freedom of information laws show that the top ranks have remained unchanged for at least the last two years.

Across the whole of the military, 7.6 per cent of all staff are recorded as being from an ethnic minority.

But in the officer ranks, they account for just 2.4 per cent.

Towards the top of the officer ranks, at the level of Lieutenant Colonel or above, there are just 100 ethnic minority people holding posts.

Ten are recorded as being black, while 4,990 positions are occupied by white people.

Labour MP Kevan Jones, a former armed forces minister, said: “These are not good figures.

“The absence of ethnic minority role models at a senior level in our armed forces is a cause for concern.

“It does nothing to help recruit of a diverse army, navy and air force.”

Rebecca Hilsenrath, of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, added: “It is disappointing that the top ranks don’t sufficiently reflect the diversity of our society.

“The armed forces need to identify why those from ethnic minorities seem to be experiencing barriers to joining and progressing to senior positions – and put in place measures to attract the widest possible talent.”

An MoD spokesman said: “We are committed to becoming a more diverse organisation and promoting an inclusive working environment.

“Diversity in the armed forces is improving but unlike many organisations, it takes about 20 years for new recruits to reach senior leadership positions in the services.

“We will be unveiling plans to boost diversity in senior roles soon.”

Source: The Sun


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