HuffPost UK has learned that Labor is unveiling plans to boost the participation of black members in the party after a series of rows.
The party’s governing body, the National Executive Committee (NEC), was asked to approve plans to promote greater integration of black members and potential candidates to stand in the next election.
The drive follows report in The Guardian in which Labor leader Keir Starmer was accused of “rejecting” black left-wing MPs from an event aimed at rebuilding the confidence of black members in the aftermath Forde’s report.
In addition to both the left and the right using anti-Semitism as a “faction weapon”, Forde also found that some party officials used a number of icons to describe senior black MPs including Diane Abbott, Clive Lewis and Don Butler.
Abbott, the shadow home secretary under Jeremy Corbyn, claimed a number of black MPs were not invited to the BAME event, telling the paper: “How can you have an event about black issues and not invite black MPs?
“It is quite factional, but to marginalize black MPs in this way is also unacceptable.
“This was a PR exercise, not a genuine attempt by the party to address the concerns of black members.”
In response, Labor sources denied that black MPs had not been invited.
Under the proposals, the party will help its affiliate group, BAME Labour, hold new leadership elections in the spring, as will the Jewish Labor Movement, the LGBT+ Labor Network and the Working Women’s Network.
The party also acknowledged that there is a problem with the selection of potential candidates for parliament, as the party has so far not elected any black men.
It is understood the party will now target its Bernie Grant leadership program for ambitious candidates only at black party members to address the problem.
There will also be an attempt to update equality data for BAME and disabled members, and after the next election, separate conferences will be held for these members to bring the proposals into force.
Starmer commissioned the Forde report to Martin Forde KC following the leak of an internal file on how the party dealt with allegations of antisemitism under his predecessor.
Forde also concluded that colored members of parliament and women MPs “were not always treated in the relevant period in the same way as their white/male counterparts – not just in terms of harsh treatment, but in terms of a level of instinctive respect , which they were allowed in the party and in the parliament.”
The report’s findings have raised concerns within the party. Kate Ozamore, who was recently shadow minister under Corbyn warned that Labor risked creating a “hostile environment” for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people in the party if it failed to address the issues identified by Forde.
In response to the findings of the Forde report, the Labor Party apologized for the “culture and attitudes expressed by senior staff in the leaked report” and said that going forward any “racist and discriminatory attitudes will be dealt with immediately, wherever they occur, in whatever would be a section of the party.”