October is Black History Month in which a series of events recognise the contribution that black people have made to the UK. On 2nd October, Diane Abbott became the first black person to represent their party at Prime Minister’s Questions. Diane was the UK’s first black woman MP when elected to Parliament in 1987. I have known Diane for a long time and was in the Chamber to support her.
This year I welcomed the launch of the Bernie Grant programme, an initiative to address the under-representation of BAME individuals in elected office that will ensure more BAME Labour Party members become leaders in our Party. I think it is important that we don’t take recent progress for granted. The Labour Party will end austerity that has hit BAME families disproportionately hard and instead support communities, not stereotype and demonise them.