Labour launches “ambitious” race and faith manifesto

Labour is set to launch a ‘race and faith manifesto’ on Tuesday that will include the pledge to ensure that historical injustice, colonialism and the role of the British empire is taught as part of the national curriculum.

The party will also seek to address the underrepresentation of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) teachers in schools, boost support for BAME wealth creators through access to finance, and end name-based recruitment.

Speaking at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham, Jeremy Corbyn, Dawn Butler and Diane Abbott will announce a range of policies that Labour describes as “ambitious and transformative”.

The launch follows a race and faith consultation that started at Labour conference and received more than 1,700 online responses. Butler held events across the country for insight into issues affecting BAME and faith communities.

The campaign event will take place on the same day that the Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, makes an unprecedented intervention during a general election campaign by writing for The Times to suggest that Corbyn is “unfit for high office”.

Stating that “a new poison, sanctioned from the very top, has taken root” in the Labour Party and describing Corbyn’s claim to have resolved all cases of antisemitism “mendacious fiction”, Mirvis has called on people to “vote with their conscience”.

A Labour Party spokesman said: “Jeremy Corbyn is a lifelong campaigner against antisemitism and has made absolutely clear it has no place in our party and society and that no one who engages in it does so in his name.

“A Labour government will guarantee the security of the Jewish community, defend and support the Jewish way of life, and combat rising antisemitism in our country and across Europe. Our race and faith manifesto, launched Tuesday, sets out our policies to achieve this.”

Labour’s new race and faith manifesto includes proposals to:

  • Create 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 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;
  • Launch an independent review into far-right extremism, as Butler announced at Labour conference.

Commenting ahead of the manifesto launch, Corbyn 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 too 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 says the manifesto aims to help the country recover following “nearly a decade of Tory austerity and policies that have decimated BAME and faith-based communities in particular”.

Butler, Labour’s women and equalities spokesperson, 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.”

Abbot, Shadow Home Secretary, added: “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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