Labour Party is guilty of racism

The Labour Party has been seriously embarrassed by an Employment Tribunal ruling that it was guilty of racial discrimination against a long-standing Asian party stalwart.

The case, the first of its kind, comes in the wake of the Government's high-profile drive against racism.

Rather than order an inquiry into racism in its own ranks, however, party bosses are looking into grounds for appeal against the tribunal decision in favour of Jawaid Ishaq, a Scunthorpe restaurateur.

Mr Ishaq brought his claims against the Labour Party and its general secretary, Margaret McDonagh, after failing to be endorsed as a candidate for local elections. A party member for 34 years, he claimed he had been treated less favourably than other potential candidates because of his race and cited instances of prejudice against him over 20 years.

The tribunal heard that in February 1998 Mr Ishaq was nominated as a candidate by his local branch of the party, an application that was considered but not endorsed, after an interview, by the North Lincolnshire local-government committee. At an appeal in December 1998 he was again turned down as a candidate.

Mr Ishaq, vice-chairman of South Humber Racial Equality Council, told the tribunal: "I was victimised and racially discriminated against during the selection process. I was the only candidate not to be asked any questions during the interview. I was treated differently from other candidates. Many Asian members of the Labour Party have left because of the way they have been treated."

Another witness, former councillor Don Guest, said: "It is my belief that he has been discriminated against because of the colour of his skin."

The tribunal unanimously found that Mr Ishaq was racially discriminated against. It has yet to decide on action.

Mr Ishaq's solicitor, Alan Carnie, said his client was "relieved" at the tribunal decision but condemned the lack of concern shown by the Labour Party. In a statement he said Mr Ishaq felt sadness and disappointment that he was forced to go to the tribunal when he and other party members had sought to bring the matters to the attention of the party both regionally and at national level, including 10 Downing Street, and received no proper attention over a period of 10 years.

A Labour Party spokeman said: "This is a case we have taken extremely seriously. We are looking at grounds for an appeal and shall be making an announcement shortly."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee