by JEREMY CORBYN, LABOUR PARTY LEADER
THERE has never been a greater sense of urgency to tackle the growing threat of the far right.
Since the Christchurch massacre in New Zealand in March that left 51 innocent people dead, there is a palpable fear in our communities. The terrorist attack in Finsbury Park in my own constituency (Islington in north London), where Makram Ali was tragically killed during the month of Ramadan in June 2017, is a stark reminder of what happens when we leave far-right voices unchallenged and why it’s so important to vote Labour.
The upcoming EU election has become a target and a battleground for far-right voices. The discontent over the Tories’ handling over Brexit has left our country in crisis, and jobs and industries at risk.
Individuals and parties that are known to spew hatred and cause division are now using this vacuum of leadership caused by the government to win support in the EU elections next week. We need real solutions, not scapegoats.
Labour’s alternative plan for Brexit which protects jobs, living standards and communities, would end the chaos caused by the Tories and let us focus on the other big issues facing our country. It’s a real and credible plan that would allow the next Labour government to rebuild our manufacturing industries, offer protection to workers, and restore pride and prosperity to parts of our country that have been neglected for too long.
Nigel Farage’s Brexit party is, in fact, the No Deal party. For millions of us, a ‘no deal’ Brexit would mean no jobs and an economic shock threatening entire industries and towns up and down the country. As we know all too well, Farage sees migrants who have made enormous contributions to our great nation as a threat – and his vision of a No Deal Brexit seeks to serve only the richest in our society.
His views on privatising the NHS are very concerning too. This is a snake-oil salesman who’s trying to divide the country further.
Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who goes by the stage name Tommy Robinson, also hopes to exploit the chaos caused by the Tories for his own divisive ends. He is currently standing as a MEP candidate in the North West. If he gets elected, this would spell disaster as it would provide him with a platform for his dangerous and destructive views.
We don’t need reminding that he was a BNP member; the former leader of the fascist English Defence League; and also serves UKIP as an advisor on ‘Muslim’ grooming gangs.
His xenophobic campaigns and Islamophobia have threatened the safety and security of our communities, where many live in fear from far-right attacks. Far-right extremists like Anders Breivik, who killed 77 young people in Norway and Christchurch mosque shooter Brenton Tarrant, link back to Robinson’s rhetoric, and have used language that describes migrants as a threat and ‘invaders’.
It wasn’t immigrants who caused the squeeze on wages in the UK, it was the bankers, bad employers, and ultimately, it has been caused by the Tory mismanagement of the economy over the last nine years.
The Islamophobia spewed by Tory politicians has been described as nasty and disgraceful by
Muslim groups, who have called for an official inquiry. Unlike the Tories, Labour accepted the Islamophobia definition put forward by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims.
I visited the Birmingham Central Mosque last weekend to speak to the community first-hand
about racist attacks they have faced. I expressed my views on Islamophobia and all forms of racism, and how we must all challenge it: an attack on any one of our communities is an attack on us all.
A vote for Labour in the EU elections will challenge the voices in the far right throughout Europe and beyond. Labour will address the inequalities that helped fuel the Brexit vote by investing in our communities and people, ending austerity and creating a fairer society. It is Labour that wants to bring our country back together.
With the far right rearing its ugly head, it is more important than ever to use your vote next Thursday (23). So, whether you voted leave or remain in 2016, I urge you to vote Labour, a party that is determined to bring people together, tackle discrimination, and take on the entrenched power of the few.