BME Labour members more likely to feel excluded from party
Dawn Butler at a Hindu event
Eastern Eye Staff
ETHNIC minority Labour voters are more likely to feel excluded and disadvantaged as party members, according to a new report.
The survey of 3,000 Labour supporters found those from BME backgrounds were more likely to report feeling unfairly treated at all levels.
It found two-thirds of ethnic minority candidates in parliamentary or assembly selection contests said their selection process was not fair, compared with one in five of white candidates. They were also 15 per cent less likely than white members to agree there are “people like me” in their constituency Labour party, and 10 per cent less likely to agree people are “treated fairly” by their party.
Dawn Butler, the shadow minister for diverse communities, said Labour could do more to halt falling support from minority communities.
She said: “Even if we acknowledge that aspects of this report do not apply everywhere, and recognise that some parts of the Labour party have made real progress, there is no doubt it is a report we must take seriously and act on with determination.
“Although I am very sceptical about whether Theresa May and her government will deliver meaningful change in this area, I understand that she is reaching out to communities whose natural home is in the Labour party.”
The report called on Labour to tackle any disadvantage to BME members by reforming candidate selection procedures and setting public targets for the number of ethnic minority Labour MPs at the next election.
“Labour must take urgent action to eradicate any discrimination in its ranks, and work with BAME members to improve support structures and networks, reform the selection process and set public targets for BAME representation,” the report, by the Fabian Society thinktank, said.