Kate Hoey’s resignation offers a chance for Labour to reflect today’s multicultural London

BAME people make up 40% of London's population but just a quarter of its Labour MPs

Many years ago, I took part in a regional Show Jumping competition and despite many hurdles, I managed to finish third.

Prizes for the winners were awarded by a crown prince in a ceremony following the competition.

Now in my middle age, I should be proudly displaying the trophy in a prominent place in my home as a reminder of a younger version of me.
 
Today, I have no prize to display for my effort, only the memory. This is because the competition was held in a country were outsiders, like me, and other minorities are usually relegated to the background or removed out of the picture.

In my case, I was relegated to the fourth place to ensure that I didn’t go on stage to collect a trophy.

I remember the anger on the face of my otherwise calm Scottish trainer when he found out that I, as a foreigner, could not win the third-place prize and it had to be awarded to a national.
 
Growing up in Saudi Arabia, this was not the only time that I have experienced the effect of being an outsider to otherwise a homogeneous group.

Even in school publications and during school events that were attended by senior officials, foreign children were either asked to dress like Saudis or were removed from the event, especially, if they didn’t look or sound Saudis. Thankfully, this doesn’t happen here in my adopted home, the UK. 
 
In Vauxhall, the Labour Party will soon select a prospective candidate to stand in the next election as our long serving and hardworking MP Kate Hoey will not be standing again.
 
At this very moment where the Labour party is reconnecting with its core base of supporters; I feel it is time for party to ask to what degree it reflects its voters, not just in political views but also in diversity.

Vauxhall constituency covers parts of Brixton, Kennington, Larkhall, Ferndale and other neighbourhoods; some of the most diverse parts of London; an area that has been home, for many decades, to large BAME communities.

Despite this Vauxhall has never been represented by a member of parliament from BAME communities. Kate’s retirement is an opportunity to change that; to help Labour reflects its electoral base.

It cannot be right that, for the party for the working man and woman, equality and social justice; just a quarter of its MPs are BAME in London, one of the most multicultural cities on earth.

While it is true that the party has achieved some success in increasing womens’ participation and their selection to elected positions. These limited successes were achieved not by chance or prayer but through a purposeful policy of gender-based shortlists.

Because of this policy, we now have many brilliant women MPs who are deservedly sitting in the House of Commons, influencing and devising, policies for the good of the nation. 

It is time for Labour to take Kate’s stepping down as an opportunity by selecting a strong local BAME candidate for the next election.

I am advocating this because I want to see the Labour Party reflect its electoral base.

I wish to see the day that at least 50% of Labour MPs are of working-class background.

I wish to see the day the party is led by a women leader and at least half of its MPs are women.

Most of all, I wish to see the day that at least 40% of Labour London MPs are of Black and Ethnic Minority background.

I wish to see the day that every young Labour member will be confident that only their political judgement will be the sole criterion to be judged if they were to chose to stand for office.

Mo Goudah is the chair of Ferndale Ward Labour Party in Vauxhall

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11 Responses to “Kate Hoey’s resignation offers a chance for Labour to reflect today’s multicultural London”

  1. Julia Gibb

    I read it twice an still couldn’t see the point. You obviously think we just divide up the seats on the proportion of ethnic groups in a region and all will be well.
    We are talking about the same Labour Party who sold stop immigration mugs. The Party who supports and end to open borders regardless of EU deal?
    This is the same Labour Party who stuffs the HofLs with those rejected at the ballot box.
    The same Labour Party who take lucrative posts with major companies and banks.
    An alternative is to become an EU dynasty or is speaking people named Kinnoch an example of diversity?
    A Party in which ex- PMs make millions from “Speaking Tours”

    Why not focus on that culture first?
    Why not have policies people understand first?
    If I had said only Scots can take a seat in Scotland would that solve social issues or improve representation? I agree Parliament should be a cross section of the nation but all Parties have large numbers of privately educated people – is that typical of society?
    Labour also has millionaire MPs and that group seems well represented too.

  2. Tom Sacold

    Pick the best person for the job.

    Selection should always be on merit. Ethnicity, sex, religion, etc. should have nothing to do with it.

  3. Patrick Newman

    It is also an opportunity for Labour to select a candidate who will support a radical socialist programme which is much overdue.

  4. Dave Roberts

    Once again this blog is peddling the racism of quotas which is not only illegal but immoral. It postulates the lie that in some way white people are privileged and exploit and or oppress other ethnic groups. Most of the poverty in this country is among white people as they are the majority as they are in London. There isn’t a single borough anywhere near anything approaching an absolute majority and with the influx of Eastern European citizens it has actually increased. A stupid article from a racist individual.

  5. ian vogler

    The Labour Party will soon select a prospective candidate to stand in the next election as our long serving and hardworking MP Kate Hoey will not be standing again.REALLY ? dont the members get a vote anymore ????

  6. Lucio Buffone

    In Vauxhall, we need to be an AWS constituency, as we are so close as a party to achieving a majority of our MPs being women. Having an AWS doesn’t stop us also selecting a BAME candidate. I’ve read a number of articles making this some kind of either or choice, which is bollocks.

  7. Joshua Schwieso

    “I wish to see the day that at least 40% of Labour London MPs are of Black and Ethnic Minority background.”
    “I wish to see the day that every young Labour member will be confident that only their political judgement will be the sole criterion to be judged if they were to chose to stand for office.”

    If political judgement is to be the sole criterion then you can’t be selecting candidates on any other grounds – including ethnicity.

  8. Christopher Clayton

    The voters (or at least, those who are not members of the upper middle class looking for an Old Etonian to promote their interests) cannot be in any doubt that we are more similar to them than the Tories are. They only have to look at Jacob Rees-Mogg, David Cameron, George Osborne, Boris Johnson, etc, to know that. Yet they still vote Conservative in large numbers ( 🙁 ), partially because their priorities also include competence. Politics is not simply about “representation”, it’s about getting things done, whether it’s tackling climate change or ensuring voters still have a job in 12 months time or standing up to Putin. If the most competent Labour candidate is BAME, that’s absolutely great, but quotas which consist of saying “our candidate is not actually the most competent candidate our party would have been able to offer, but we had to exclude the better ones because they didn’t tick the quota box” will naturally lead the electorate to vote for the alternative.

  9. Dave Roberts

    Lucio! Yeh, ok. What are you on about?

  10. Steve Turner

    No wonder Labour has dropped so low in the opinion polls if this is the rubbish being spouted. The worst and most incompetent government in living history is only matched by the incompetence of ideas from the opposition. No wonder we are unelectable. The best person for the job should always be selected, selection should not be based on quotas or sex, religion or gender or anything other than the best qualified for the job – after all this is not somewhere like Saudi Arabia.

  11. Christopher Lawton

    So if you are a MAN and you happen to be WHITE then you are not welcome? Imagine if another party said ‘open to white men only’. You would not be able to hear for Abbott screaming! The labour party for everyone (except white straight men).

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