For me, the Labour Party is the natural home of the Somali community.
Last night I had the pleasure of speaking at the launch of the Tower Hamlet’s Somali Friends of Labour.
There were great speeches from Amina Ali, Rachel Saunders, Motin Uz-Zaman and Bill Turner and very strong and powerful contributions from the floor – particularly regarding the communities concerns about overcrowded housing, health care, youth facilities and the lack of jobs.
The Labour Party has always stood up for solidarity, equality and social justice and, while recognising there is a long way to go, is committed to giving a voice to previously unrepresented communities.
Over many decades the Somali communities have made a great contribution to London and its culture. However, like with any other minority group, without representation in the policy process there will always be the possibility of ignorance towards the problems those communities face.
That is why I think it is great that this group – and others like it – have been set up.
By establishing groups like Somali Friends of Labour, the members are helping the party to stay true to, and to realise, its values.
Somali Friends of Labour is a vital vehicle for giving the Somali community a voice within the Labour Party, removing ignorance within the party towards the challenges the communities’ face and gaining recognition for those issues.
I was inspired by last nights meeting and I look forward to working with the group and the Somali communities in the future.