I’ve been asked to speak at the Caribbean Question Time, organised by the Caribbean Council, later this month. Clearly a big question will be “why should black Britons vote Conservative?”, this is an issue I first spoke about at the 2002 Conservative party conference. I discussed a number of natural synergies between the Conservatives and the UK’s ethnic minority communities.
As a handy cut-out-and-keep Buzzfeed style list (but without the animated GIFs) here are seven positive reasons why black Britons should vote Conservative on the 7th of May.
- The Economy: There are nearly 600,000 more Britons from ethnic minority backgrounds in work now than there where in 2010 and specifically there nearly 100,000 more black Britons in work now than in 2010. In the three months to March 2010, there were 665,000 black people in employment. In the most recent figures for October to December 2014, there were 765,000.
- Training the next generation of black business-people: Since 2010/11, black youngsters have started more than 66,000 apprenticeships
- Increasing diversity in the heart of government. Representation of black people within the Conservative party is increasing – with Ministers like Helen Grant, the Sports Minister, Sam Gyimah, an Education Minister, as well as MPs like Adam Afriyie and Kwasi Kwarteng.
- Closing the education gap. Since 2010, standards among black pupils have risen more quickly than any other ethnic group. The gap between black pupils’ and all pupils’ GCSE results has more than halved since 2010.
- Helping more people from African and Caribbean heritage go to university. The number of black students securing a place at university has increased by a fifth – from just over 25,00 in 2010 to 30,000 in 2014.
- Less and fairer use of stop and search. Under this Government, the use of stop and search powers has fallen by a third from its peak under Labour in 2008/9. All police forces in England and Wales have now signed up to a “Best Use of Stop and Search” scheme that will increase transparency, give us a better understanding of how stop and search is actually being used and help local communities hold the police to account for their use of the powers.
- Addressing the problems of deaths in police custody. We have asked the HM Inspectorate of Constabulary to look into the welfare of vulnerable people in police custody. The inspection is due to report back at the end of this month.
You can add to this list the host of other reasons for voting Conservative that will be discussed at length between now and polling day.