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Yesterday Black Socialist Society members voted overwhelmingly to change the name of the organisation to BAME Labour with immediate effect, at a special conference at the Manchester Arts and Technology College.
There was a divergence of views as to whether the name should be changed and to what. Members were given a choice of names to choose from, with other options being: the Black Socialist Society; the Black and Asian Society; the Black and Asian Socialist Society; the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Society, and the BAME Labour Society. BAME is commonly used to refer to black, Asian and minority ethnic peoples.
Addressing the conference, Keith Vaz MP, the organisation’s representative on the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee and Chair of the party’s Ethnic Minority Task Force said the name change was designed to help the organisation appeal to more members of Britain’s various ethnic minority communities.
Several hundred of the organisation’s 4500 strong membership attended the conference to hear Ahmad Shahzad, Chair of BAME Labour, Vaz, Neena Gill MEP and Treasury Minister, Angela Eagle MP speak. The heads of Tamils for Labour, Africans for Labour (its Chair, Julius Nkafu is pictured left) and Arabs for Labour also spoke, amongst others, with a special video message from the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, being shown to delegates.
Chuka Umunna, editor of TMP and a member of BAME Labour’s executive committee will shortly be sending out his report of the event to all those who have signed up to his BSS reports on this site. To sign up, please use the box on the right.
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