Anas Sarwar - Conference 18
Anas Sarwar - Conference 18

Speech from Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health

Anas Sarwar MSP to Scottish Labour Conference

Dundee, Saturday 10 March 2018

Conference I stand to second the equalities and diversity report today as a proud Scot, Brit, Muslim, Socialist and Feminist.

When I started the campaign against everyday racism and Islamophobia 5 weeks ago I was clear that this was not about one individual or one party.

But it was about challenging a culture that impacted on workplaces, campuses and playgrounds across the country.

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.

That is why I published an 8-point plan titled “Challenging Everyday racism and Islamophobia – Leading by Example”.

I am pleased by the progress made in this report.

4 recommendations accepted and implemented immediately,

Including shortlisting of minority ethnic candidates, diverse selection committees and anonymous reporting.

1 in progress,

With a rollout of equality and diversity training

1 part of an existing review and 2 requiring further consideration by the SEC, looking at the diversity and make-up of the SEC and SPF.

Good progress, but a recognition of work still to do.

But the hardest challenge remains delivering change in society.

If we are to succeed then we must see this as a mission for all of us.

We can’t just leave the fight for gender equality to women.

We can’t just leave the fight for LGBT rights to the LGBT community.

We can’t just leave the fight against racism to the minority ethnic communities.

We can’t just leave the fight against anti-Semitism to the Jewish community.

We can’t just leave the fight against Islamophobia to the Muslim community.

If we stand together, as one, we can build a society free of hate and prejudice.


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