It can sometimes feel that politicians are playing a game of cat and mouse with the UK public. Prime Minister Theresa May has several times done a complete U-turn on her campaign promises as she fights to maintain her majority. It can often feel that the public are just pawns in a game of political chess. Yet there are some politicians who don’t believe in lying and deceiving the public in order to win. In this article we look at four black politicians who stand strong by their ethics and by their words.
Diana Abbott is currently on the front line of Jeremy Corbyn’s election campaign. The Shadow Home Secretary has been the most visual Labour figure, aside from Corbyn, in putting forward Labour’s manifesto to the public. Since becoming the first black woman to have a seat in the House of Commons, Abbott’s career has been a tough battle against prejudice. Her strong opinions on peace and equality have made her a target for the Conservatives, yet she keeps fighting back harder and stronger each time.
The former Shadow Minister for Diverse Communities is one of Labour’s strongest voices on gender equality and disability rights. This year, to support Deaf Awareness Week, Butler used BSL (British Sign Language) in the House of Commons when she asked a question on giving BSL full legal status. Writing for Sign Video, Butler explained: “There are an estimated 151,000 BSL users across the UK, 87,000 of whom are deaf. They deserve equal rights, yet unfortunately BSL still does not have full legal status as is afforded to other minority languages in the UK. This can and must be changed.”
The former British Army solider has made a name for himself as a straight talking politician. Lewis has held a number of key roles in government including Shadow Secretary of State for Defence and Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy. Lewis was an early backer of Corbyn but left the Shadow Cabinet over the Labour Party decision to whip its MPs to vote for Article 50. Yet despite leaving the Shadow Cabinet many believe that Lewis will return to frontline politics soon and quite likely challenge Corbyn for the Labour leadership if he loses the 2017 election.
The former Shadow Business Secretary is seen as Labour’s economic powerhouse. Never one to keep quiet over issues he disagrees with, Umunna has stayed out of frontline politics since Corbyn became leader. However, this hasn’t meant that he has kept out of politics, in fact he has been one of the loudest voices to reverse Brexit. The Evening Standard reports that he has issued a pamphlet arguing that the UK must remain a full member of the EU. The issue of Brexit has become a key battleground in the election. UK politics experts Betfair explain in their article on the latest Brexit news that negotiations with EU leader Juncker are fraught, believing that there is a 50% chance of failure. Umunna is trying to use his political willpower to turn Brexit around.