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Today Brent Central, Tomorrow… Brent Central

Dawn-Butler-OBV-eventThe battle for Brent is most definitely on, as Labour’s Dawn Butler and the Lib Dems Sarah Teather both seek to highlight injustices towards the Caribbeans in Britain.

Butler and Teather are campaigning for just one seat in the Commons after the Boundary Commission merged Butler’s Brent South and Teather’s Brent East into one. Today’s Voice newspaper features both MPs.

Butler is raising the issue of Jamaican nationals from the UK who are having problems re-entering Britain after visiting their homeland.

A daughter of Jamaican parents herself, Butler has taken up this issue with the governments Border Agency after constituents told her about people who had lived most of their lives in Britain were being refused entry back into the country.

Butler said: “People who have been in the UK for more than 20 years should be straightforward cases.”

Sarah-Teather

Sarah Teather

Meanwhile Teather has delivered a petition against the passenger flight tax, imposed on travelers to the Caribbean.

The new flight tax could see a family of four paying an extra £600, on top of their airline tickets, to get to the islands.

Teather said: “When I saw how the rules were going to change it just seemed to me to be completely bonkers. It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

Teather and ex-children’s TV presenter Floella Benjamin handed a petition in to the Foreign Office last week, but are still collecting more signatures on the MP’s website www.sarahteather.libdems.org.uk

We are pleased that both MPs are raising these matters, which both look likely to become major general election issues for the Caribbean community unless the government takes steps to resolve them between now and next May.

The African and Caribbean population in the new Brent Central seat is a whopping 25% of the total electorate, with the vast majority hailing from the islands.

However we are in no doubt that they both are genuinely passionate about getting justice on the issues of re-entry at Britain’s borders, and the flight tax.

Butler’s predecessor Paul Boateng famously said “Today, Brent South. Tomorrow, Soweto!” But with the current MPs so intent on surviving, it appears their moto is “Today, Brent Central. Tomorrow, Brent Central.”

By Lester Holloway

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2 Responses

  1. It’s going to be an interesting fight. Dawn is a true community MP who is not afraid to speak her mind and represent her constituents. Sarah is a very skilled practitioner and rising (if not risen) Lib Dem MP. But as one of only a few Black women MP’s, I hope Dawn wins. But she needs to do more high profile stuff too.

  2. This will be a very interesting campaign. The APD has been going on for a while now and it is felt that many has taken a back seat on this issue but hey now it is election time and the 100 marginal seats which will be affected by the black votes are now being targeted. So they are coming on baord hmmm. The issues of Jamaicans immigration plight has been going on for a while also. It will be left to the constituents to see who is politicising issues which are relevant and important and also who is really genuine.

    Both are wished the best.

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