Next year, youth elections will be held for Young Labour. BAME Labour asked young BAME Labour members questions that they wanted to ask the candidates. We forwarded them to candidates for National Chair of Young Labour, the NEC Youth Rep and London Young Labour Chair. Here are their responses.
Rachel Megan Barker is running for National Chair of Young Labour. The Chair of Young Labour coordinates the work of Young Labour and helps to set a direction for the organisation.
The subject of Hospital Car Parking Charges has reared its ugly head again as figures confirm that many hospital trusts are making more than £1 million a year from the charges and many as much as three times that amount. This is a tax on all hospital users but undoubtedly hurts vulnerable groups such as carers most. During the course of the year I have made the case to exempt carers from these charges and my private members bill which I presented in October would have been a real step forward.
MP Leads Burnley Delegation to Save Chai Centre
A delegation of campaigners, led by Burnley MP Julie Cooper, travelled to County Hall Preston on Thursday to hand in a petition signed by of hundreds concerned Burnley residents protesting against the possible loss of Healthy Living services from the popular Chai Centre. The well-used centre located on Hurtley Street, was opened in 2004 and presently houses a range of facilities including the Healthy Living Centre which incorporates a café, gym and sauna.
Julie was accompanied by County Councillor Dr. Misfar Hassan and Burnley Borough Councillor Saeed Chaudhry who coordinated the petition following weeks of discussions with residents opposed to the loss of services.
As you would expect the burden of responsibility weighed heavily on all MPs in Westminster last week. Most of you will already know that I voted not to support David Cameron’s plan to bomb Syria. I did not take the decision lightly but ultimately I think it was the right one. To read my reasons visit www.juliecooperforburnley.co.uk
In the lead up to Wednesday’s lengthy debate I attended numerous briefings on Syria. In the midst of this though I did manage to find the time to attend a really uplifting presentation organised by Ambitious for Autism.
The UK is now top of the league in Western Europe when it comes to obesity. Obesity is a major cause of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers and ultimately accounts for around 70,000 avoidable deaths in the UK each year. Most worryingly a quarter of all our children are obese and all the research is clear that sugar is the main cause of childhood obesity.
There is no doubt that we would all benefit from reducing the amount of sugar in our diet but in my view when it comes protecting the health and life chances of British children there is no time to delay.
by Sonny Leong is chair of Chinese for Labour and Treasurer of BAME Labour
The great immigration debate has been one of the constant features of British politics over the last few years and will undoubtedly continue to be, as we hurtle towards the cliff edge of the European Referendum. I firmly believe that the Labour Party, which has always been marked by its values of internationalism and equality, is on the right side of this argument – championing Britain’s status as a nation of immigrants, who have contributed so much to every part of our society.
This week the Prime Minister has called a vote on whether the UK should pursue a bombing campaign against Syria
I am grateful to the thousands of local residents who have already contacted me with their thoughts. The depth and strength of the feeling this issue has generated locally only reinforces how important this decision is. Residents have told me overwhelmingly that they are against air strikes.
I have considered this decision long and hard because undoubtedly commiting our armed forces to military action is the most serious action that a Government can take.
Jeremy Corbyn has written to members of Labour’s National Executive Committee asking for their opinion on the party’s position on Syrian airstrikes, ahead of today’s Shadow Cabinet meeting.
Corbyn announced at last week’s meeting of the Shadow Cabinet that he would not support airstrikes, while senior members, including the Shadow Foreign Secretary and Deputy Leader, said they were minded to back them.
BAME Labour hopes that the Party will come to a conclusion that includes sanction of the United Nations - safety for civilians and a post war strategy that reinforces Syrian sovereignty and maintains civil society