Labour launches ambitious Race and Faith Manifesto

Jeremy Corbyn, Dawn Butler and Diane Abbott will launch Labour’s Race and Faith Manifesto tomorrow (Tuesday 26 November) at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham.

Dawn Butler, Labour’s Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary launched the Race and Faith consultation at Labour Party conference, which has received over 1,700 online responses. They have held consultation events across the country to get to the heart of the issues affecting Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) and faith communities.

Major policy announcements as part of Labour’s new Race and Faith Manifesto include:

  • The creation of an Emancipation Educational Trust to ensure historical injustice, colonialism and role of the British empire is taught in the National Curriculum;
  • Extend pay gap reporting to BAME groups to tackle pay discrimination based on race;
  • Establish a Race Equality Unit based within the Treasury which will review major spending announcements for its impact on BAME communities;
  • End the rip-off charges for passports, visas, tests and other documentation imposed by the Home Office;
  • Launch a wide ranging review into the underrepresentation of BAME teachers in schools;
  • An independent review of far-right extremism which has seen significant growth over the last few years.

The new manifesto is ambitious and transformative, pushing back on nearly a decade of Tory austerity and policies that have decimated BAME and faith-based communities in particular.

These communities already suffer from significant inequalities in employment, education and representation in public life. The manifesto is a direct culmination of the consultations that Labour has held, making it a unique people-powered manifesto that will have impact for positive change.

The harmful rhetoric around Brexit – some of which has been instigated by Boris Johnson – has led to a spike in hate crime and abuse faced by BAME and faith communities.

Labour says it recognises the value migrants have brought to the country, and will work towards creating an immigration system built on human rights and aimed at meeting the skills and labour shortages that exist in our economy and public services.

Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, said: “Labour is the party of equality and human rights. Our Race and Faith Manifesto presents our unshakable commitment to challenge the inequalities and discrimination that has faced to many communities.

“Whatever your background, wherever you are from, whatever your faith or religious belief, you should have the chance to use your talents to fulfil your potential. Labour will tackle head on the barriers that have unfairly held back so many people and communities.

“Labour is on your side and this election is a once-in-a-generation chance for real change for the many, not the few.”

Dawn Butler, Labour’s Shadow Equalities and Women’s Secretary, said: “We have heard from people all over the country who are passionate about their communities and want to work together with Labour to tackle the issues affecting them.

“While the Tories have used the divisive politics of hate, which culminated in the hostile environment and led to the Windrush scandal, we know that the fight for justice and change isn’t over.

“Only by acknowledging the historical injustices faced by our communities can we work towards a better future that is prosperous for all, that isn’t blighted by austerity and the politics of fear.

“Labour’s people powered Race and Faith Manifesto takes us beyond what we’ve previously committed in how we’ll radically shift policies to ensure the economic, social or structural barriers faced are addressed. It’s time for real change.”

Stephen Timms, Labour’s Faith Envoy, said: “Faith groups – through foodbanks, are on the frontline dealing with emergencies caused by austerity policies. They see day after the damage that’s being caused.

“In the Labour Party, we want to give faith groups a voice as they call for change. And we recognise that their faith motivates their work.”

Diane Abbott, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, said: “Labour’s Race and Faith Consultation was a crucial step in our delivering the most ambitious and transformational Labour manifesto yet, including cherishing our diversity, celebrating our unity and defending all religious communities when they are under attack.”

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