Labour Set To Throw Selection On Merit Out The Window

Sadiq Khan

Labour is set to throw selection on the grounds of merit out the window as it launches a series of policies in a manifesto designed solely for minorities.

The party is preparing to introduce new ‘diversity quotas’ for the Civil Service, company boards and the judiciary as part of a new black and ethnic minority (BAEM) manifesto, the Express reports.

As part of the document, which was tasked to Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan, youth unemployment would be devolved to local authorities to help support young BAEM jobless. Stop and search police powers will also be reformed.

Mr Khan said he would like to see Black and Ethnic Minority and all-women short lists for Westminster constituencies if this May’s election does not return a significant number of women and minorities as MPs.

He said “nothing was off the table” when it came to eradicating “inequalities” within society. It is part of a strategy to retain the vote of black and ethnic minority voters who could swing key constituencies: Statistics released ahead of the General Election reveal that in 168 marginal seats the ethnic minority vote was bigger than the majority of the sitting MP.

“Our black and minority ethnic manifesto seeks to address the inequalities in the system to enable everyone regardless of their religion or ethnicity to fulfil their potential and ensure there is no inbuilt hindrance in their way,” he said.

“My message to your readers is that this will promote a rise in talent that will benefit us all.”

“Don’t think that if my children fulfil their potential it will be to the detriment of your children. No-one should be upset if we have successful police officers, journalists or photographers from diverse backgrounds.

“I am the son of a bus driver. I want working class children to aim for the stars to become journalists and photographers, or whatever they want to be, because in the long run it is not a zero sum game and will benefit us all.”

Also expected to feature in the left-wing document are targets for the number of women and ethnic minorities on company boards – something the European Union has been keen to set down in legislation. Should the party get into power, it is expected to launch a review on the issue.

The MP for Tooting, who is a close ally of Ed Miliband, said he also wants to reform the Civil Service and see “root and branch reform” of the judiciary and the way judges are appointed.