Labour Equalities Officers: John Worrow (LGBT), Penny Newman (Disabilities), Jane Hetherington (South Thanet Women’s Forum), Raushan Rahman (BAME), Candy Gregory (North Thanet Women’s Officer)
Both the North and South Thanet Labour Party have strongly condemned remarks made by Ramsgate UKIP councillor, Sarah Larkins, about the London mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan.
Councillor Larkins, on a Facebook page, said she would prefer “anyone but a Muslim” (as London Mayor). She also expressed solidarity with Paris and Brussels after the recent terrorist attacks.
The Labour Party promotes religious tolerance and believes anyone in public life should be respectful of all faiths.
The Thanet South Labour representative for black and minority ethnicities (BAME) Raushan Rahman, who is herself Muslim, said: “Cllr. Larkins’ remarks only serve to stir up hatred and distrust and to divide the British people, of whatever faith (or none). This sort of rhetoric plays into the hands of extremists, ‘Islamic’ or otherwise, who use it to further their own unpleasant ends.
As a Muslim, I live in fear myself all the time. My son works in London, and I constantly fear for his safety. The events that so tragically occurred in Paris and Brussels were nothing to do with Islam.”
Raushan added: “We are a truly multicultural nation, and our political representation needs to reflect this.”
Labour Party members are claiming that Sarah Larkins is bringing UKIP controlled Thanet District Council into disrepute.
A Thanet resident commenting on Facebook said: “How can Sarah Larkins represent people of other faiths in her community when she can make remarks like this?”
Councillor Larkin is also Deputy Mayor of Ramsgate and is hoping to become mayor after UKIP’s Trevor Shonk stands down.
Local Labour Party Equalities Officers are demanding that she stand down as Deputy Mayor of Ramsgate and is not allowed to become mayor when the current mayor steps down.
For more informaton: Kaz Peet, Labour Party press officer, on 07918 657992