This is an op-ed by Sadiq Khan
When my parents moved to London in the 1960’s they were confronted with signs saying ‘no blacks, no dogs, no Irish’. Over fifty years, discrimination in British society has reduced significantly- largely because of Labour’s strong anti-discrimination laws.
That’s why I’m concerned that the Tories are preparing to work with UKIP after the election. Both David Cameron and George Osborne have repeatedly refused to rule out working with UKIP.
A growing number of Tory MPs and grassroots activists want to do a deal with UKIP. Indeed, they are reportedly already striking deals with UKIP up and down the country in key marginals.
The terms of a deal have been set. Nigel Farage wants an early referendum on whether Britain remains in the EU. When asked about it, David Cameron said he would be “delighted”.
UKIP referred to countries receiving overseas aid as “bongo bongo land” and countless candidates have been sacked for racism. One UKIP candidate said that Lenny Henry should “go and live in a black country” while another said she had a ‘problem’ with ‘negroes’. Nigel Farage repeatedly criticises multiculturalism.
Just imagine if the Tories went in to partnership with UKIP. UKIP have signed up to the Tories’ extreme spending plans, which put the NHS at risk. Both parties favour tax breaks for millionaires and would increase NHS privatisation. They would make life harder for black and Asian Brits.
Tackling racial inequality has been neglected by this government. The number of young BAME people out of work for a year has risen by almost half. Five more years of the Tories, with UKIP’s help, would further threaten living standards.
Nigel Farage recently said he wants to get rid of all the race discrimination laws that protect us. It’s a chilling thought.
Everybody knows that Labour is the Party of equality. We will keep working to break down barriers to opportunity caused by prejudice and discrimination.
Labour has a better plan, based on increasing living standards for working families, saving and transforming our NHS and ensuring the next generation have more opportunities. Our race equality strategy will tackle inequality, abuses of stop and search and make our police, judiciary and civil service more representative.
Our country only succeeds when working people succeed and we want everyone, from all backgrounds, to share in our national success.
Sadiq Khan is Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary and London Minister
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