Dear Sir Keir,
We, Black members are gravely concerned, that the silence around the racism that was clearly evidenced in the findings of Martin Forde QC’s report, indicates a failure of the Labour Party to acknowledge it has breached the Equality Act 2010.
That the impact of racism and institutional responses, have left too many Black members feeling violated and discriminated against; with some people too afraid to speak out.
The silence on the findings of the Forde report particularly in relation to this and how the Right Honourable Diane Abbott MP was treated in the report, shows a clear lack of effort to acknowledge, apologise or sanction those involved.
Diane had been the most abused and violated MP this country has seen. She was treated disgustingly through the election campaigns in 2017 & 2019 with no sign of collective outrage.
What of the numerous submissions made of how we as Black members have been let down by the Labour Party?
During the last year it has felt like a disproportionate number of Black members have been blocked, de-selected, suspended and expelled. Aside from those who have left or resigned from the Party.
However, despite this we have seen the hard work of remaining Black activists, making a difference in getting the vote out in various recent victories. We should be having a National BAME conference and convening a National Committee this year which has apparently been deferred.
The rule changes passed at National conference 2021 enshrined our right to submit a motion to National conference, this is now more than 2years away. We have demands now and expect to be heard. Our democratic rights through these new structures are being denied. This is unacceptable and all things considered is racial discrimination.
So, this is a notice to demand acknowledgement that there has been anti-black racism endemic in the Labour Party.
We expect a public acknowledgement of this and an apology; with specific reference to how Diane Abbott was racially violated, other Black MPs and Black members. With a public and explicit commitment to tackling all forms of racism.
We expect to be at the forefront of the implementation of the Forde report recommendations in relation to Allegation 6.
We also think it is important to establish the facts so, we would like an ethnic breakdown of who was selected and de-selected in the recent Local Elections.
We would like an ethnic breakdown of who has been suspended and expelled over the last 5 years. If this data is not available, then it should start to be gathered and anecdotal evidence should be considered relevant.
We acknowledge that some work has been done since the Forde inquiry started, but that has not led to a reduction in the detrimental experiences of Black members; facing racism and discrimination.
We are also therefore demanding:
A clear response to the submissions made by many Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic members, and where necessary action taken.
An audit of Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic members in the Labour Party.
Ongoing qualitative monitoring of the experiences of Black members in the Labour Party.
Inclusion of critical Black voices, rather than silencing them.
We expect a comprehensive response to these concerns as soon as is possible please.
Lucie Scott Hackney North & Stoke Newington
Diane Abbott Hackney North & Stoke Newington MP
Currently, this letter has over 700 signatures from over 240 CLPs from across the country;
including MPs, Councillors and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic members and allies.
This is about the volume and range of signatures not about creating a list of names.
Please sign and share.