Harriet Harman today signalled her determination that black and minority ethnic members of the Labour Party should play a key part in the campaign around the election of Labour’s new leadership team.
“There is, as yet, no candidate from the BME community in this election” said Harriet Harman. “But as one of the candidates for the Deputy leadership and as someone who has long campaigned on equality and who represents a vibrant and diverse ethnic community, I want to ensure that black and minority ethnic members of the party play a key role in the campaign around this election"
On Monday 15th January Harriet called a meeting of local leaders from black and minority ethnic groups who will work with here to consult and involve in her campaign for the deputy leadership, black and minority members of the Labour Party.
The consultation, which will take the form of email groups, web discussion and face to face meetings, will feed into Harriet Harman's work on Labour Party Renewal and she hopes will help to guide policy making at all levels.
Oona King will lead the team for Harriet.
“Of course I want to win as many votes as possible when the election comes and there is a significant number of black and minority ethnic members of the Party. But this is also about ensuring that though there is no BME candidate, that there is as much inclusion of BME members in the election campaign as possible. The debates around this election campaign will chart the future. BME members must be centrally involved”
“The election for the new leadership team should be a time for full debate about the future progressive policies that we want to see for this country and how we want to build the party and make it more representative. BME Labour members are essential to this debate”
Harriet and the group will seek to liaise with the important organisations within the party such as Africans for Labour, Black Socialist Society, the Minority Ethnic Task force and many others.
“Harriet Harman has a great track record locally and nationally on equality and I look forward to working with her on this consultation. Said Southwark Councillor Tayo Situ.
The meeting looked at a number of policy areas Harriet is already engaged in as the beginning of an ongoing process. These issues include:
* overseas remittances as a vital part of international development
* tackling discrimination at work
* good childcare services in the early years.
* Tackling people trafficking and protecting women against domestic violence.
* Increasing the number of BME Labour councillors and MPs
The consultation group is inviting BME Labour members to contact Harriet and let her know what you want to raise with her.
“If you are interested in human rights and equalities you should be mobilising to support Harriet Harman for Deputy Leader. So get in touch and get involved, “said Oona King.