The Daily Telegraph

Black-led firms might get more state contracts under Labour

- By Ben Riley-smith

COMPANIES led by black Britons could be given more government contracts if Labour wins the next election under plans being considered by the party.

A member of Labour’s race equality task force, the Jacqueline Mckenzie, said in an interview with The Voice newspaper, that the idea was being discussed.

The human rights lawyer was quoted as saying: “There are no black firms that currently benefit at all, African heritage firms. We discussed that at length.”

Labour sources said that no decisions had been taken about such policies, with the task force yet to reach its conclusion­s and submit them to the party.

The task force, led by Baroness Doreen Lawrence, is providing policy ideas for improving race equality, with Labour shadow cabinet ministers to be the ones to set final policy.

It is unclear specifical­ly how the Government procuremen­t process could be changed to achieve such an aim. A Labour source close to the thinking declined to elaborate.

But changes to procuremen­t practices often have been touted by political parties in the past, including increasing the focus on Whitehall making purchases of Uk-made products.

Anneliese Dodds, the Labour Party chairman, told The Guardian: “Labour will make tackling structural racial inequality a key mission in government by introducin­g a Race Equality Act to deliver security, prosperity and respect for everyone in this country.

“As the next general election draws closer and Labour prepares for government, the Act is being developed by the Labour front bench, working with Baroness Lawrence, policy and legal experts and community groups.”

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