Yvette Cooper said she will oversee a taskforce ? which will engage with BAME members of Parliament, councillors, NEC members and local Party activists
SHADOW home secretary and potential Labour leader Yvetter Cooper has said the party must double the number BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) MPs and ensure true representation of all communities if it wins a majority.
The leadership candidate said Labour cannot be complacent with ethnic voters anymore.
Cooper said that as leader she would to measures to improve recruitment among BAME communities in the public sector, including possibly changing the law to allow the police to adopt affirmative action in recruitment.
She also said how more than 15 per cent of Labour voters are from BAME communities but just 10 per cent of Labour MPs.
“With over a million ethnic minority voters choosing the Tories at the last election Labour cannot be complacent. If Labour is not representative of our voters how can we hope to keep their support?
“If the number of Labour MPs mirrored the proportion of Labour voters there would be at least double the number of Labour MPs in a Labour majority Parliament.
“There are many causes for under-representation of BAME communities in Parliament. So there won’t be a simple solution.
“As leader I will personally oversee a taskforce – which will engage with BAME members of Parliament, councillors, NEC members and local Party activists, to ensure a step change in support for BAME candidates and activists.
“We need a development programme for BAME activists who want to be candidates, and candidates who want the support to win. We should look at how we ensure that shortlists are more representative. And it will report on bursary schemes to support aspiring candidates with training and support with selections.”