Black information Link:

home campaigns act now policy & research press releases links subscribe contact us

black information link The 1990 Trust, human rights for race equality
The 1990 Trust's independent community website for black communities

SECTIONS
2007 Bicentenary of Abolition
America at war
Armed Forces
Arts&Culture
Black Elders
Black Workers
Blink Interview
Broadband
Business
Campaigns
Children
Civil Liberties
Crime & Policing
Disability
Education
Employment
Events
Government
Health
Human Rights
IT
Immigration
International
Ireland
Jobs
Legal
Links
Linux
News Digest
Northern Ireland
People
Politics
Religion
Reparations
Reports
Rural racism
Scotland
Society & Environment
Sports
Stephen Lawrence
The 1990 Trust
UK regions
WCAR
Wales
Women
Youth

Black is the new Blue for Tories

By Lester Holloway
27/2/2004

THE CONSERVATIVES claim they are way ahead of the Labour Party in selecting new black and Asian candidates, and are hoping to break the mould of British politics by reaping a greater slice of the minority ethnic vote

Adam Afriyie
Adam Afriyie: bright future predicted

Labour have traditionally counted on around 80% of the black vote, but Michael Howard’s party now hope to steal Labour’s clothes by representing black and minority ethnic (BME) communities.

The Tories could have five new minority ethnic MP’s at the next general election. Two of them, Adam Afriyie and Shailesh Vara, have been chosen to fight seats currently held by the Conservatives which they are unlikely to lose, in Windsor and North West Cambridgeshire respectively. Both have been tipped as future Tory Prime Ministers.

The Conservatives have also selected three BME candidates in winnable seats – Haroon Rashid in Bradford West, Sandip Verma in Wolverhampton South West, and Ali Miraj in Watford. There are three other Tory BME hopefuls standing in seats with a large Labour majorities.

Dominic Grieve MP, Conservative community cohesion spokesman, admitted that his party still had ‘some way to go’, but hailed the eight new BME candidates as a breakthrough.

logjam

He said: “We’ve set ourselves the task of representing ethnic minority communities, and a lot of effort has been made to provide support to able candidates on the list. The moment the logjam is broken everyone starts taking notice of good black and ethnic minority candidates.”

Shailesh Vara
Shailesh Vara: one of a new breed of Tories

The Tories’ five BME candidates in safe or winnable seats, in contrast with Labours’ two – Sadiq Khan in Tooting, and Yasmin Qureshi in Brent East.

James Cleverly, 34, who only stands an outside chance of winning back Lewisham East for the Tories, said: “It does look like a massive change. The reality that what’s been going on for a while has now broken to the surface.

“At the general election it’s going to be much more obvious there is support for the Conservative Party amongst people like myself. The black community has previously voted Labour and I don’t think Labour has done anything to deserve that support.”

But Labour pointed to their 12 sitting minority ethnic MP’s, compared to the Tories and Liberal Democrats who have none. Labour also stressed they were still at a very early stage in their selection process and said they do not go around boasting of the progress they had made on diversity in their party.

proud

A Labour Party spokesperson said: “The Labour Party is proud of our record on selections, for example, the only black and Asian MPs in the House of Commons sit on the Labour benches, and this Labour Government has seen the first black Cabinet Ministers appointed.”

black tory hopefuls

However Conservative Central Office insiders have expressed glee at the progress they have made in selecting a more diverse set of candidates. Strategists hope they can shake off their reputation as the ‘nasty party’ who harbour a racist element in their ranks.

Party leader Michael Howard’s decisive action in withdrawing the whip from Tory MP Ann Winterton after she made a sick joke about the Chinese cockle-picker tragedy, won cross-party support and could help persuade undecided black and Asian voters that the Tories are taking a zero tolerance line against racism.

Haroon Rashid, 32, who is standing for the Tories in Bradford West, said: “The party itself is coming to terms with the fact that they have to be fully representative of the society that we’re living in.

“We are getting good calibre candidates coming through now, a lot of black and ethnic minority candidates. The party is now changing. Traditionally the ethnic minority vote has been Labour but now they’ve experienced Labour’s policies that’s really put them off. They are looking for change.”

Tories’ Great Black Hope a True Blue

Michael Howard says he’s an ethnic minority

Send to a friend
Send to a friend
print document
Print document
Search

Politics
LibDems
Local Government
Labour
Conservatives
Greens
Articles
Racism
David Cameron

Related Stories

Give Tory associations race training David Cameron still has much to prove on race Tory asylum row – are they racist? You decide. Tories defend immigration policies after backlash Give us clarification not chaos! Calm down dears… its only an election Shame on you, Mr Howard A Tribute to Malcolm X thru' Hip-Hop, Rap and Spoken-word Poetry William Hague slapped down over slavery gaff Sweet-talk fails to save Michael Howard from pasting Black is the new Blue for Tories Michael Howard says he’s an ethnic minority Tory gains on race could be reversed by Davis David Davis supported ” racist colleague ” now he must prove he’s changed Millions for Reparations Rally in Washington

Resources:

Speech by Valerie Amos, Leader of the House of Lords

Tony Blair speech to Labour conference 2006

Black Representation in Government

pdf At a turning point? The State of Race relations in Kingston upon Hull

JCWI'S Top 10 Recommendations

List of MPs who voted for and against the war in Iraq

Transcript of BNP Mayoral candidate interviewed on BBC London Radio's John Gaunt show

pdf BNP candidates and constituencies 2004

Links:

Pluto Press

Pluto Press

The Power Inquiry

Unite Against Fascism

Searchlight

TheyWorkForYou.com

Stop the BNP

BNP: Under the skin

Research community network: Stopping hate and building safer communities

antiracist.com

Operation Black Vote

UNITE TO PROTECT OUR RIGHTS: sign the statement against the erosion of civil liberties and human rights by new anti-terrorism proposals A Black Manifesto No 2 ID FREE FAROUQ PDP ASSOCIATES Power to the People

Published by The 1990 Trust

This website is subject to a disclaimer: Please read


Black Information Link. All rights reserved.

Suite 12 Winchester House 
9 Cranmer Road
London SW9 6EJ
Tel: 020  7582 1990
Fax: 020 7793 8269
Email: blink1990@blink.org.uk

top of pagetop of page

powered by Linux