LETTER : The Mancunian candidate

Share
From Mr Peter Coleman

Sir: How easy it seems to write articles such as Ken Livingstone's Another View ("Asians won't go away, Tony", 3 August, which claims knowledge of "scandal", "racism" and "imposed white candidates". The reporting of decisions taken by Labour's National Executive Committee are meaningless when a good story can be written about imposed Labour candidates in constituencies with large black communities, or the imposition of all-women shortlists by the party to foil the election of black activists.

The truth spoils the flow of this story. Thirty-six constituencies, with all but one, voluntarily agreeing to help achieve Labour's aim of increasing Labour women's representation in Parliament selecting from all-women short- lists dumps the imposition argument surrounding women candidates.

Another myth in Mr Livingstone's article concerns exclusion of Muslims from the Manchester Gorton selection, and two investigations concluding that some Asians were wrongly excluded. People were found to have been excluded from meetings, but that was because they were not eligible Labour party members. These challenges were made last autumn to the Commission for Racial Equality, which decided not to proceed on any of the 11 complaints. Labour's investigation also concurred that all applications and members had been treated equally.

I almost forgot: Gerald Kaufman got 40 out of 41 of the nominations! Hardly an imposition.

Then there is the claim in Birmingham of imposition of the NEC's preferred white candidates over local objections. The truth is that the NEC investigation team has been holding many days of interviews in the city over the past two weeks to enable a report to be published in late summer; given healthy parties, the membership will select its own candidates later this year.

Contrast these media stories with the training events and support being provided to prospective black candidates by the party and the latest moves by the NEC to provide better representation on the supreme governing body.

In the autumn, Labour will begin voluntary ethnic monitoring of its membership. Labour will almost certainly then be able to point to more black members, more black councillors, a black MEP and more black MPs than any other political party. Still a long way to go, but give credit where credit is due.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Coleman

Director of Development and Organisation

The Labour Party

London, SE17

4 August

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Science Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Science Teacher - Maternit...

Systems and Network Administrator

Negotiable: Randstad Education Leicester: We are recruiting for a Systems and ...

English Teacher

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Group: English as an Additional Langua...

Nursery assistants required in Cambridgeshire

£10000 - £15000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Nursery assistants re...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Photo issued by Flinders University of an artist's impression of a Microbrachius dicki mating scene  

One look at us Scots is enough to show how it was our fishy ancestors who invented sex

Donald MacInnes
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp  

Oscar Pistorius sentence: Judge Masipa might have shown mercy, but she has delivered perfect justice

Chris Maume
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album