Letter: Muslims come to the aid of the party

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The Independent Online
Sir: I was amazed to read ('Muslims accused of Labour takeover', 27 July) that our former MP, Lord (Denis) Howell, is accusing Muslims of taking over the (Birmingham) Labour Party.

I belong to the Aston ward, where the majority of members are of Asian origin and of the Muslim faith. This ward is part of the Small Heath constituency.

At the annual branch meeting the ward elected its new chair, vice-chair and secretary. All are white, none of them is a Muslim.

At the constituency annual meeting, the majority of delegates are of Asian origin and the majority are of the Muslim faith. The chair is of Asian origin, the two vice-chairs are white and of Asian origin, and the constituency secretary is white and a practising Christian. So, at senior level, where is this Muslim takeover?

Please note that your article misleads in its use of statistics. You compare party membership in Small Heath with racial statistics for the city as a whole. The majority population for the Small Heath constituency is of Asian origin, so it is hardly surprising that the majority of Labour Party members are of Asian origin.

As a parish priest, I find it hard to find time for effective Labour Party work, but I also found it hard to resist the, mainly Asian, pressure to serve on the constituency management committee. I am not a Muslim.

Thank God, we have many good Labour Party members who are Muslims, and who are not put off by this kind of attack. We need British people of every ethnicity in the membership and leadership of the party.

Yours faithfully,


Aston, Birmingham

29 July