Friday, May 18, 2007

Britain: African-Caribbean wants all-black shortlists to increase the number of minority MPs

Hugh Muir:

The culture minister, David Lammy, has reignited the controversy over the lack of minority MPs by calling on Gordon Brown and Labour's deputy leadership candidates to consider the imposition of all-black shortlists.

The minister, the only man of African-Caribbean origin in the Commons, said the party's new leadership must take decisive action to address a "democratic deficit".

Interviewed by the black newspaper New Nation, Mr Lammy said: "I'll be looking to Gordon Brown to show leadership on issues of representation because we should have 51 minority ethnic MPs. There should be 18 black, 24 Asian and the rest made up from other ethnic minorities if we were in proportion to our population. The party must look at all-ethnic minority shortlists where the constituencies are failing to step up to that task."

The minister cited the imposition by Labour of all-women shortlists and suggested the idea might be acceptable to a new leadership. "I happen to know Gordon wants to renew democratic legitimacy over the next period. And I know the deputy leadership candidates want to do the same thing."

He told the Guardian that minority communities generally should exploit the "window of opportunity" that existed during Labour's process to finding a leader and a new deputy. "I want people to write to Gordon Brown and let him know what are the issues they believe need to be dealt with."

Brown urged to impose all-black shortlists

Lammy - patronising, wrong and panicked

Lammy is the future…obviously


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