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Vibrant Caribbean launch for Labour group

Celebrity chef and entrepreneur Levi Roots joined government minister Dawn Butler and other guests to launch Labour Friends of the Caribbean last night.

By Richard Sudan

Reaffirming the historic link between Britons of Caribbean origin and the Labour Party, the new affiliate organisation has won the backing of Gordon Brown.

In a strong show of solidarity, the launch of Labour Friends of the Caribbean included keynote speeches from universities minister David Lammy, Baroness Glynis Kinnock the foreign office minister for Africa and the United Nations, and the party’s general secretary Ray Collins.

The Prime Minister expressed delight at the establishnent of the group. He wrote: “From the moment Empire Windrush landed on British soil, the Caribbean community has been making an enormous contribution to Britain.

“Even though most of the Caribbean islands are now independent, we remain interdependent and I am delighted by the strong ties we retain”

The event, which took place at the Palace of Westminster, was spiced up by the sweet sounds of a steel pan band. Representatives from Jewel of the Caribbean were also in attendance.

The launch is the latest initiative by Labour to strengthen ties with people of Caribbean origin. It was spearheaded by Brent South MP and Minister for Young Citizens and Youth Engagement, Dawn Butler.

Dawn Butler MP said: “This was a vibrant launch for a vibrant community. I represent a constituency that has one of the highest Caribbean populations and know the interdependency that the UK and the Caribbean have with each other. The current Government has worked hard to help the Caribbean and to support the Caribbean community in the UK. It is essential that the Caribbean community votes Labour at the next election to ensure that this support continues”.
Labour Friends of the Caribbean will be looking at ways to engage with the community and celebrating the immeasurable contributions made by Britain’s Caribbean communities over the years, as well as acknowledging and learning from the legacy of slavery and its historical impact”.

OBV Assistant Director Ashok Viswanathan commented: “The immeasurable contribution and sacrifice made by the Britain’s Caribbean communities is what has put the ‘Great’ in Great Britain.

“It is also true to say that the Caribbean contribution to the Labour Party-from members to MPs-has allowed it to be an enduring political force into the 21st century.”

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