Former Labor advisers pressure Keir Starmer to stamp out racism in the party

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FORMER LABOR advisers joined calls for party leader Keir Stamer to tackle bullying and racism directed at black members of his party ahead of a protest later today .

The Forde report, which had its publication delayed by two years, uncovered “serious problems of discrimination” including sexism, anti-Semitism and racism in the ranks.

Senior executives were found to have been involved in exchanging WhatsApp messages containing ‘indisputable overt and underlying racism and sexism’ directed at black MPs like Diane Abbott.

An open letter, also signed by Abbott, accused Labor of not “acknowledging that it breached the Equality Act 2010” and that “the impact of racism and institutional responses has left too many members black people feel violated and discriminated against”.

Labour’s official response to the findings was to state: “Starmer is in charge now.”

The hard-hitting letter comes as the Campaign Against Afriphobia (CAA) prepares to lead a protest outside Parliament Square today (September 2 at 5pm) in a bid to galvanize change.

Marcia Huthchinson, a former Labor councilor on Manchester City Council, quit her job after claiming she was racially bullied when she was kicked out of a crucial pre-selection meeting to replace her in favor of a white candidate.

Marcia Hutchinson has spoken openly about the racism she experienced as a Labor Party member in Manchester

Ms Hutchinson said the ‘hierarchy of racism’ revealed in the party was ‘absolutely accurate’.

“I don’t believe for a minute that Keir Starmer has any serious intention of addressing racism within the Labor Party. And the reason I say that is because a lot of black people are on the left of Labor and Keir Starmer is on the right,” she said. The voice.

“The racist bullying of black people that culminated in the attacks on Diane Abbott is just a useful way to get rid of people on the left.”

Ms Hutchinson said some people were deliberately misrepresenting reality by saying the abuse targeting black MPs was “just factionalism” and had nothing to do with race.

Ms Abbott, the MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, was found to be ‘the most abused and raped MP this country has seen’.

The 138-page document, led by Martin Forde QC, revealed the long-serving MP had been called “really disgusting” and a “very angry woman” by a party official.

Abbott called on Starmer and others not to forget racism in general within the Labor Party.

Starmer reportedly claimed racism within the party was a stain of Jeremy Corbyn’s previous leadership after he left and fostered an “unacceptable culture”.

Ekua Baynunu defected to the Green Party to escape workplace racism (Picture: ManchesterWorld.com)

Ekua Bayunu, a former Labor councilor in Hulme, Manchester, who is now a Green Party member, said she left Labor because of the “toxic, white, masculine and racist culture” that permeates the group.

“I think if you’re inside the Labor Party as a black member…I wasn’t looking for confirmation [of anti-black racism]I was just looking for publication and recognition,” she said.

” He is known [Starmer] it had been out for two years and a little. I expected him to be a bit more on the ball with that. But he isolated himself a lot from the main black women who would be good for people to help guide him, be it Diane [Abbott] or Dawn [Butler] or Marsha [de Cordova].”

Ms Bayunu then lambasted the Labor leader’s ‘Black Lives Matter moment’ which saw him take a knee in support of racial injustice in the summer of 2020 but accused him of continuing to hold a ‘racist line’ in his direction.

“Although I continue to give my black comrades in the Labor Party, and to some extent my Jewish comrades as well, as much support as I can, which is really weird because obviously I’m not into that, but at the level from the grassroots I will support and I also fundamentally think it’s a waste of time and energy – part of it is because I don’t see any change in the next 20 years,” she said.

“Not in terms of climate, not in terms of conditions for black people, because they are not. They definitely get worse, whether it’s sending people to Rwanda or wherever, whether it’s when you have a parent or grandparent who wasn’t born in that country.

Labor has historically enjoyed support from black voters, with around half of the UK’s ethnic minority population residing in just 75 of 650 constituencies, with the left-wing group holding all but five of the seats.

The party’s performance in the 2009 general election lagged nationally, however, stacked against the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, they won 58% of the vote, especially in areas with strongholds Africans and Caribbeans, according to data from the Runnymede Trust and News from heaven.

However, former Manchester councilors have warned that support could dwindle following racism directed at its black political members.

Ms Hutchinson said the party’s response left its values ​​”tattered” for a group that “supports working class people and the vast majority of black people are working class”.

“That leaves a large part of the country unrepresented. You have the Conservative party which I would say is on the far right bordering on fascism with some of the Rwandan deportations and you have the Labor party which is just just to the left of it leading I would say to a majority of unrepresented people,” she said.

Amid the report’s fallout, Ms Hutchinson called on an independent body to address its findings to prevent complaints from black Labor members being ‘gunned and politicized’ against them.

She says: The people who are disgraced and who are the subject of false accusations and those who investigate are often the same ones who made these false allegations. And very often the allegations are not based on them, just an announcement that so-and-so is under investigation will discredit so-and-so.

More than 300 signatories have signed the open letter demanding that the Labor Party properly confront racism targeting black MPs and councillors.

The letter says that although “some work” has already begun to confront racism imposed on black people, it has not been enough to eradicate the “harmful experiences of black members facing racism and discrimination”.

Black Party members demand an audit of Black, Asian and ethnic minority members of the Labor Party and continuous qualitative monitoring of their lived experiences.

They are also calling for critical black voices to be included in the party, rather than silenced.

A Labor Party spokesperson said: ‘We are proud of the changes that have been made under the leadership of Keir Starmer and David Evans, but there is no room for complacency so we will always look for ways to improve. improve our culture and practices to support all protégés. characteristics.

“In April 2022, we launched our new Independent Complaints Process which will ensure that complaints about all protected features are decided in an impartial, fair and rational manner. This is a crucial step on Labor’s journey to build confidence in our commitment to fight all forms of discrimination, as well as to tackle sexual harassment.

“This is in addition to other work within the party to address discrimination and improve our culture and practices, including the implementation of a new Code of Conduct on Afrophobia and Anti-Black Racism in November 2021 and a new code of conduct on Islamophobia in July 2021.

“The party has also set up a diversity and inclusive council with its union and staff networks, chaired by the general secretary, who has put in place a work plan and appointed an external expert to support the council.

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