Birmingham & Black Country

Black community 'unrepresented' on Birmingham council cabinet

Protesters in Birmingham
Image caption About 30 people protested outside Birmingham Council House on Tuesday

Campaigners have protested in Birmingham against a lack of black representation on the city council's cabinet.

Of the six members sworn in on Tuesday just one, Asian councillor Tahir Ali, is from an ethnic minority.

Despite good representation on the council as a whole, protesters said it was important that was also reflected on the cabinet group.

The Labour party said it had chosen the best people for the job.

It added that it was committed to creating opportunities for everyone in the city.

The party won back control of the city council from a Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition at elections earlier this month.

'Around the table'

Almost 40% of the local authority's 120 seats are now held by councillors from ethnic minorities.

Camille Ade-John, from the United In Building Legacy group, said many of the key council decisions were made by the cabinet and it was important the Black community was "around the table".

She was one of about 30 people who gathered outside the council house as the cabinet was sworn in.

While the former coalition cabinet also did not feature any black councillors, Ms Ade-John said the Labour party had enjoyed considerable electoral support from the black community, which now felt let down.

In a statement, the Labour group said: "We acknowledge that some in the African Caribbean community feel under represented and we have already had productive talks with leaders of the community.

"These discussions will continue and, in particular, we are keen to develop a leadership programme in partnership with the African Caribbean community to encourage greater participation in politics particularly amongst the younger generation."

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