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Jeremy Corbyn will break down barriers to racial equality

ICONIC: A young Corbyn gets arrested

AS JEREMY Corbyn’s campaign to be leader of the Labour Party goes from strength to strength, people have been asking me who I will be supporting. There is only one answer: it’s got to be Jeremy.

Not only do I think he will be good for the country, he will be good for black and minority ethnic communities (BAME) too. Jeremy has a record of tackling racism that’s second to none.

The famous photo of him being arrested outside the South African Embassy because of his opposition to apartheid in the 1980s is legendary. From then to now, he has been totally consistent in his opposition to racism at home and abroad, in celebrating the contributions of immigrant communities to Britain, defending multiculturalism and opposing attacks on migrants. 

We know there are lots of politicians who pay lip service to black communities and challenging racism. Despite the public recognition of institutional racism in the aftermath of the murder of Stephen Lawrence, the will to tackle it remains sadly lacking.

Under the last government, the number of young people from BAME backgrounds in long-term unemployment increased by 50 per cent. If you are in work, graduates from a Black African background are almost twice as likely to be overqualified in their jobs as their white counterparts.

If Jeremy was leader of the Labour Party and a future Prime Minister, I know we would make great strides in breaking down the barriers that hold back black communities. I know that he would be committed to ensuring a level playing field for all.

Jeremy is the only candidate to talk about some of the harsh realities of racism. He has raised concerns by the British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey, which shows that racial prejudice is increasing.

He has also raised his concerns about the findings of the Runnymede Trust study about the impact of government welfare cuts on minority ethnic communities.

They point out that changes to tax credits, part-time working changes and benefit caps on households with three or more children will all have a greater impact on BAME families, with some families losing £1,000 or more.

I understand why many people feel cynical about politicians. Too many of them are either in it for themselves or in it to maintain the vested interests of the powerful. Jeremy Corbyn is not one of those. He is a people’s politician and someone who will stand up for all communities. He deserves your support.

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Claudia Webbe is a councillor in the London borough of Islington. She is a cabinet member with lead responsibility for environment and transport councils.

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