With the release of the boundary review yesterday, we've been looking at how the changes could potentially affect Labour BAME MPs.
The conclusion? Most of the 28 MPs are safe, with their constituency staying or their former seat forming a new seat without any other Labour MPs competing for the same area.
A few BAME MPs are worth keeping an eye on. Chuka Umunna looks set to be selected for the new Streatham and Mitcham seat. However, his neighbour Siobhan McDonagh does not pass the 40% threshold to be automatically selected for a new seat.
On Monday I urged the new Secretary of State for Education to invest in technical schools and technical and vocational qualifications. I also asked her directly how the Government’s proposed plans to introduce grammar schools would improve the skills gap that currently exists in the UK. I said the following:
“I would like to congratulate the young people in my constituency who have been successful in their GCSE and A-level results this year. There is no shortage nationwide in access to excellent academic education. Our world-leading universities are welcoming more students from this country than ever before.
I was so excited when Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader of the Labour Party. As a young Muslim girl I had always felt alienated by mainstream politics, particularly the foreign policies of the New Labour government. So when Jeremy was elected I finally felt like maybe a mainstream party could represent me and my views, and I was very eager to see the journey that Labour would go on. I wanted a profoundly left-wing socialist party.
For the first seven months, I remained optimistic about Jeremy's leadership. Maybe he wasn't coming out with very concrete policies, but the principles of what he was saying were right.
The shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman in 2012 sparked a movement that challenged, and challenges, US society to look at anti-black racism and state violence. Aided by social media, Black Lives Matter (BLM) is moving beyond borders and spreading across the world. It has also had a profound impact on the tone of the US Presidential election - a key moment of exposure being the disruption of Bernie Sander's campaign rally in Seattle.
The issues articulated by BLM are not new. They identify issues such as mass incarceration (2.8 million black people are locked up by the state), violence against black people (in 2015 about one in every 65 deaths of young African Americans was at the hand of the police), and 500,000 undocumented black immigrants as examples of Black people being systematically dehumanised by the state and society.
This week I am joining with Labour colleagues to stop the Government’s proposed solar tax hike which will undermine solar power and the clean energy industries of the future. Under proposed Government plans to update tax rates for business properties companies installing solar panels on their rooftops will end up with a tax bill that is six to eight times higher than they are currently paying.
It will mean in some cases that rooftop solar installations cost more to run than they generate. This tax hike will penalise thousands of businesses and schools who choose to use renewable energy and invested in good faith with the prior backing of consecutive Governments.
With Labour Conference coming up at the end of the month, we thought we'd put in one easy place all the events that we're interested in going to. Hope to see you there!
If there's anything that we've missed or there's an event that you're looking forward to then tell us! Email at: LabourBAME@gmail.com
Fourth Floor of the Merseyside Maritime Museum, Albert Dock, L3 4AQ - Lecture Theatre
In conversation with Chuka Umunna MP and Lord Maurice Glasman
Labour has launched a new nationwide consultation to develop the Party's policies to fight discrimination and promote racial equality. The consultation is in partnership with the Race Equality Advisory Group, chaired by Patrick Vernon OBE and will engage Britain's diverse communities and experts in a series of special events all over the country and online through the Your Britain policy website: http://goo.gl/9Ghhe1
The consultation will build on the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Manifesto, which was launched for the 2015 General Election, and help develop policy on the changing nature of race inequalities and social justice.
As a proud British citizen, born in Malaysia and of Chinese descent, 2016 has been a terrifying year. The rise in racist incidents and attacks since the EU Referendum has been well-documented – an outpouring of hate that shocked so many across the country, who believed us to be an open, diverse and welcoming society. I’ve received so many emails from friends in the Chinese community and with ancestors across the world who have experienced abuse in the last six weeks, it makes you wonder what it means to be British.
As a young, black woman, I've naturally felt like the Labour party represented me. It's always been the party of equality, social democracy and justice for all. Historically, it has fought against racial inequality and in 2015, I was glad to see a BAME manifesto released. It included ‘closing the BAME pay gap’, ‘taking robust action against hate crime’ and ‘strengthening representation in public life and in politics’. Unfortunately, Labour didn’t win in 2015 and right now, as a party we need to focus on winning a general election so we can work with the BAME community and make sure these changes actually happen.
Racist, Islamophobic, xenophobic and anti-Semitic tropes and ideas are becoming increasing prevalent and accepted in British society. We speak of racism too often in abstract terms, and not rooted in the day to day functioning of entrenched oppressive structures and power relations. It is no secret that BAME engagement at every level within the Party is abysmal, with BAME Labour itself consistently struggling to capture the imagination of ethnic minority communities across this country, let alone enthuse them to become powerful political agents. This leadership contest, whilst between two white men, nonetheless poses vital questions about how to genuinely challenge the rising tide of hatred in this country.