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Rebecca Long-Bailey leads way in committing to 10-point pledge to address Islamophobia

REBECCA LONG BAILEY led the charge among Labour’s leadership hopefuls today as the first to commit to a 10-point pledge on tackling Islamophobia.

The measures, compiled by the Muslim Council of Britain and backed by the Labour Muslim Network, include adopting the all-party parliamentary group on British Muslims’ definition of Islamophobia as being “rooted in racism and as a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.”

Ms Long Bailey said that she “will not just support the pledges” but will “stand with the Muslim community” if she succeeds Jeremy Corbyn as leader.

The Salford and Eccles MP tweeted: “The mainstream press and the Conservative party may choose to ignore Islamophobia — but I will not.”

Other pledges refer to defending religious liberty, engaging with Muslim communities, safeguarding mosques and focusing policymaking on effective health and care services.

They also call for refugee resettlement, enhancing democratic participation, addressing disparity of treatment of black and minority-ethnic people in the criminal-justice system, education equality and an “ethical foreign policy” supporting a sovereign Palestine and addressing “human-rights abuses abroad, including in Kashmir, Xinjiang and Myanmar.”

Leadership contenders Jess Phillips and Emily Thornberry followed Ms Long Bailey in committing to the pledges.

As the Morning Star went to print, Keir Starmer and Lisa Nandy had not committed to adopt the measures if they became leader.

As reported in the Star yesterday, all five leadership hopefuls backed the Board of Deputies of British Jews’ pledges, which Palestinian rights groups say deem criticism of Israel “anti-semitic.”

The Labour Muslim Network also urged the five deputy Labour leader candidates to express their support for the pledges.

They are Angela Rayner, Richard Burgon, Dawn Butler, Rosena Allin-Khan and Scotland’s only Labour MP, Ian Murray.

The Campaign for Labour Party Democracy reiterated its support yesterday for Ms Long Bailey as leader and Mr Burgon as deputy for their “commitment to socialism.”

Ms Long Bailey will officially launch her campaign tomorrow in Manchester.

To get on the final ballot paper, candidates must secure support from either 5 per cent of constituency Labour parties — a total of 33 — or three affiliated organisations including two trade unions, adding up to 5 per cent of the affiliated membership.


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