Scottish Labour commits to new equalities measures
Scottish Labour has committed to new equalities measures, including an increase in the representation of women on its ruling body.
At the Scottish Labour conference in Dundee, delegates passed a rule that two positions on Scottish Labour’s executive committee must be elected at its annual women’s conference.
The party also agreed it will affiliate with BAME Labour and guarantee a place on shortlists for BME candidates who put themselves forward, provided they meet the criteria expected of a candidate.
The conference also accepted an interim report recommending a series of proposals to improve equality within the party, which include further consideration of how to increase representation of under-represented groups on its ruling body.
Presenting the report, Scottish Labour’s shadow minister for communities, social security and equalities, Monica Lennon, said it would help the party develop a “truly comprehensive anti-discrimination and harassment framework” and ensure the party leads the way on tackling these issues.
She said: “This report marks the start of a process for setting an intersectional approach to eradicating all forms of discrimination in our party, ensuring that everyone, women and men, black, Asian or minority, LGBTI, disabled, non-binary, all are respected, safe and treated with dignity.”
Scottish Labour's health spokesperson, Anas Sarwar, who has recently spoken out about racism he has experienced, said: “As the Labour Party – a political movement born out of the desire to fight for equality, to defeat prejudice, and to end injustice - we must hold ourselves to a higher standards.
“So if we accept that everyday sexism, homophobia, racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and more exists in wider society, then as a party reflective of that society, we must accept that we are not immune to this.”
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said he was delighted that conference has passed the interim report.
He said: “When it comes to eradicating inequality, Scottish Labour will listen to all voices, and we will act: educating our members and mobilising our movement.
"The Labour Party is the party of equality. There is no place for racial, gender or other forms of discrimination or harassment in our party, and these are important steps towards making the party itself more inclusive in its structures and decision making.
“We will continue to work towards building a society free from all forms of sexism, homophobia, racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, discrimination against disabled people and bigotry and prejudice in all their manifestations."