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Without representation, Labour has no future

31st Dec 2021
Without representation, Labour has no future

(Photo credit: Pixbay)

When Sir Keir Starmer was elected as Labour leader in April last year he said that “restoring trust with the Jewish community is a number one priority.” No similar commitment was made to the Muslim population estimated to be at least a dozen times larger and among the party’s most faithful supporters.

In his victory speech, Starmer did pledge to re-engage with voters and to establish a coalition across towns, cities and regions of “all creeds and communities to speak for the whole of the country.”

Although named after Labour’s first leader Keir Hardie, Starmer has often been criticised as quite a divisive figure. His record has, unfortunately, not lived up to his pledges. When appointing his first Shadow Cabinet, he maintained that it “showcases the breadth, depth and talents of the Labour Party.”

His aim was that his front-bench team would be balanced not only between various wings of the party but also “in terms of diversity”. But on both counts, he has failed.

Subsequent reshuffles have done little to address how unrepresentative his shadow cabinets have been, including the latest at the end of November.

No mention was made about being balanced only that it “mirrors the shape of the Government we are shadowing”, which is hardly exemplary. His purge of the left and seemingly all dissent is well recorded compared with Labour’s founding principles of being a broad church, particularly for the working classes.

At a time when Labour has a record number of 14 Muslim MPs, it is disappointing that none have been offered any of the top jobs as if they have become outcasts like so-called Corbynistas. It has always seemed more of an afterthought to Minister for Mental Health Rosena Allin-Khan to attend shadow cabinet along with National Campaign Coordinator Shabana Mahmood. The phrase making up the numbers comes to mind.

Yet one of the main criticisms voiced at Starmer’s cautious approach has been of his attempts to be all things to all people for fear of upsetting anyone. But it has made the leader seem to be weak without any policies having effectively torn up most of his predecessors. Muslims do not seek any special attention as demanded by many but they are not even getting a level playing field to be fair to all.

Muslims lose out in Labour cabinet reshuffle

One Response to “Without representation, Labour has no future”

Fatima HusainJanuary 8, 2022

This is a very important article and The UK Muslims should take note . A follow up article is needed to discuss how Muslims can lobby their MPs to raise issues that concern them.

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