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Ed Miliband promotes Diane Abbott and other BME MPs

Miliband promotes BME politicians

In an extraordinary move that both stamps his authority within the party  and circumvents Labour party MP’s resistance for greater representation, the  new Labour leader Ed Miliband promotes former Labour leader contender Diane Abbott to a significant position within his shadow ministerial team, whilst also promoting an unprecedented number of new BME MP’s to the shadow ministerial team. Continue reading

Diane Abbott: public health warning

After great pressure from within the Labour party and pressure from grassroots activists Diane Abbott has been given a position as Public Health spokeperson within one of the 22 shadow cabinet.

In June 1987, Diane Abbott made history by becoming the first black women ever elected to the British Parliament for the constituency of Hackney North and Stoke Newington.
Continue reading

Passed over

African, Caribbean and Asian communities will look at senior levels of British politics and ask why our talent is  being ignored?  Why is our expertise constantly being passed over whenever senior positions become available?

Last night, the Labour Party’s MPs voted for 19 shadow ministerial roles. Only Sadiq Khan MP, Ed Miliband’s campaign manager made the cut.  Former Minister David Lammy was not selected. Leadership contender Diane Abbott was also excluded although all the other contenders excluding the self exiled David Miliband were selected. Continue reading

Labour 19 announced

Labour shadow cabinet


Ed Miliband is expected to appoint either Yvette Cooper or Ed Balls as Shadow Chancellor.

Cooper with the most votes is in a strong position. Continue reading

Diane for Home Secretary?

Diane Abbott stood in the Labour leader race after many in the Black community including OBV encouraged her to run for leader. By doing so she changed the nature of the debate, and was an inspiration for others to follow, simply by being there. Continue reading

Bernie Grant centre

The Bernie Grant centre in Tottenham is to get a makeover according to a report in the Voice today.

Much of the grounds surrounding the central building will be furnished with outdoors facilities including an open air theatre and cultural arts fair space.

The centre is named after Bernie Grant, the fearless maverick Black MP, who represented Tottenham in Parliament from 1987-2000.  He became a living icon of Black British History by becoming one of the first Black MPs in the UK Parliament .   Continue reading

Abbott to stand for shadow cabinet

Abbott: Standing for shadow cabinet

Diane Abbott has announced that she will standing for the new shadow cabinet

Abbott changed the dynamics of debate within the leadership race being the only black politician and woman to stand, but she also brought a wealth of experience as a seasoned MP-she first entered Parliament in 1987 alongside Bernie Grant, Keith Vaz and Paul Boateng.  It was the Labour party black sections movement which proved to be a catalyst in the milestone of the 1987 election. Continue reading

Labour debacle: Rahman runs as independent

Rahman runs as independent

Earlier this week we were the first to report that Labour Party HQ had overturned the official result of the Tower Hamlets Mayoral selection won by Luftar Rahman.

The newly installed Labour candidate Helal Abbas, the current leader of Tower Hamlets Council came third in the original ballot.  What the second place Labour candidate John Biggs, who should have rightly claimed the place of the recently deposed Rahman, makes of this one can only guess.
Continue reading

Colourblind ‘purists’ derail equality

Lib Dems fail equality test

by Councillor Lester Holloway

It’s been four years since the Liberal Democrats last had to wrestle with the problem of diversity, when a motion that only called for more resources was defeated by the colourblind ‘purists’ in the party.

Yesterday, at the annual conference in Liverpool, the Lib Dems once again debated the issue. Once again, traditional Liberal principles about equality triumphed over the reality that something practical needed to be done to solve the problem that my party does not have a single black or Asian MP, MEP or Assembly Member.  In fact we haven’t elected an MP of colour at a general election since 1892. Continue reading

Labour debacle: Luftar Rahman dropped as candidate

Mr Rahman to challenge Labour HQ

OBV can exclusively reveal that the Labour NEC has today overturned the decision by the Tower Hamlets Labour Party to choose Luftar Rahman as their official candidate.

This is the fourth time that the wishes of local members have  been rejected by part HQ.

Only last week Mr Rahman launched his campaign with over 1000 people in attendance, and with endorsements from party figures including Ken Livingstone, Jim Fitzpatrick, Keith Vaz and Baroness Uddin.

More news to follow…

New measures needed to tackle youth crime

Umunna: tackle youth crime

According to the Metropolitan Police the number of casualties from youth crime so far this year in the capital is still a major cause for concern:

This year in the capital has seen 15 teenage homicides, 1230 knife crime victims, and 145 gun crime victims (non-fatal). Continue reading

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Labour leader candidate, Diane Abbott

In the first of a two part interview, OBV Director Simon Woolley talks to Labour leadership hopeful Diane Abbott MP.

In part one topics covered range from Abbott cutting her political teeth as a trade union official, to her role in the historic election of 1987 that saw Abbott enter Parliament alongside political firebrands Keith Vaz, Bernie Grant and Paul Boateng.

With the Labour party leadership race reaching the closing stages OBV will continue to keep you updated with breaking news and developments.

You can view part two of the interview here.

OBV vindication over Tower Hamlets Mayoral race

Rahman: running for Mayor

Not once, but several times Operation Black Vote took up the fight to ensure Lutfur Rahman was allowed to stand for the Tower Hamlets Labour Mayoral contest. Why? Because he was a popular politician, and his exclusion seemed to be politically motivated, having been excluded twice by the Labour party hierarchy. On Saturday we were proved right. Rahman not only won, he won by a landslide.

Rahman, a former leader of Tower Hamlets Council has had an extraordinary journey to reach this critical stage. Continue reading

Baroness Warsi thanks British public for donations to flood stricken Pakistan

Warsi: thanking British public for Pakistan support

Conservative Party Chairman and Minister Baroness Warsi last week returned from a trip to the flood stricken areas of Pakistan.

Travelling with Andrew Mitchell Minister Secretary of State for International development, in a bid to raise the profile of the devastation being felt and to see where the money pledged by the British government 31 million pounds with a further 33 million to be pledged is being spent on. Continue reading

Lammy endorsement boosts Miliband campaign

David backs David

David Lammy, prominent black MP and Chair of Ken Livingstone’s Mayoral nomination campaign, has given a significant boost to David Miliband’s fight for the Labour leadership today with his endorsement.

Writing in the New Statesman Lammy outlines why he’s backing the older of the two Miliband’s currently battling it out to be leader and what he thinks it means for the future of the party. Continue reading

Abbott stands apart from Miliband ‘soap opera’

Abbott: supporting Chagos Islanders

While the Labour leadership race heats up and heads toward the ballot there is one candidate who has not become so embroiled in the punch and judy style political sideswiping that was almost inevitably going to define the Labour leadership campaign final days. Continue reading

Pakistan appeal: UK aid pledge leading the world but it’s not enough

Baroness Warsi

An article in today’s leading Asian newspaper the Eastern Eye highlights the praise that The Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell has given the government, stating that Britain is leading the way in money pledged for the Pakistan relief effort. Continue reading