A report into the disproportionately high number of deaths from coronavirus in BAME communities has been delayed due to concerns it could stoke racial tensions, it is claimed.
According to Sky News, "worries" over the review being published amid the ongoing protests in the US over the death of George Floyd played a part in the findings not being released on time.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman denied this was the case, telling Sky: "Ministers received initial findings (Monday). They are being rapidly considered and a report will be published this week.
"It is not true to say this has been delayed due to global events."
But a Labour MP says any delay is "unacceptable" and a date for its publication needs to be set to put people's minds at ease.
The Public Health England review was launched last month aimed at analysing how factors such as ethnicity can impact people's health outcomes from Covid-19.
According to data from the Office for National Statistics, black men and women are more than four times more likely to suffer a coronavirus-related death than white people.
The Government website says the findings from the review were to be published "by the end of May 2020".
Sky News says the review "was being put on hold until Wednesday because it was not ready for publishing."
Shadow women's and equalities secretary Marsha de Cordova said BAME communities "need answers".
"It is unacceptable that this review should be delayed without a given date for its publication," she said.
Ms de Cordova said the timing of the situation was ironic.
"There is a gross irony in delaying the release of a report into the unequal suffering of the BAME community, on the basis of global events that relate to the suffering of black communities around the world.
"If anything, recent events make the release of this report all the more urgent.
"If the Government is serious about tackling racial injustice, they should not be shying away from understanding why these injustices exist."