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May 04, 2010

Labour has common bond with Muslims, Brown tells The Muslim News

Prime Minister Gordon Brown is seeking to reach out to voters, including Muslims in key marginal constituencies, to support Labour as the party to aid economic recovery while pledging to create job and training opportunities for every young person under twenty-five.

“We have a common bond with all those in the Muslim community who are trying to make sure we have fairness and justice throughout the world.

“I think people know that we are the party that has done more to tackle poverty in the poorest countries of the world and done more to support organization like Muslim Aid that are trying to help the poorest countries,” he said in an exclusive interview with Editor of The Muslim News, Ahmed J Versi on Sunday May 2.

The Prime Minister defended the much criticised counter terrorism Prevent Violent Extremism programme which has impacted negatively on the young Muslims. "No young person who is a law-abiding citizen should have anything to worry about Prevent. We are trying to build links between all the different communities. We are putting a huge amount of resources into building interfaith links and to build links between different schools and communities and between young people in the different faith groups and their communities," he said.

Brown visited Harrow West to support incumbent MP Gareth Thomas during a whistle stop tour of ten Labour constituencies on Sunday, May 2. Muslim population (2001 census) 6,927 and more than half are voters.


For the Editors:

Due to boundary changes, the 2,000 majority seat increased to 7,800. However, the figure has been revised to the Labour notional majority around 5500 to 6000.

In 2005 there was a 4.5% swing from Labour to Conservatives.


Full text of interview:

Editor of The Muslim News Ahmed J Versi Interview with Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Sunday 2 May 2010 at Labour Party offices in West Harrow:

Ahmed J. Versi: A large number of constituencies in London with marginal seats has high Muslim population who could make a difference on who gets elected. What is the message you want to send to the Muslim community to ensure they vote for the Labour party?

PM Gordon Brown: I think people know that we are the party that has done more to tackle poverty in the poorest countries of the world and done more to support organization like Muslim Aid that are trying to help the poorest countries in the world and we have a common bond with all those in the Muslim community who are trying to make sure we have fairness and justice throughout the world. I also think that in Britain we are creating job opportunities for every teenager in this country and we will not allow a generation to grow up unemployed as happened in the 1980s and 1990s. It’s very important that not only we protect public services but also that every young person has a right to a job or training.

AJV: However, the highest numbers of unemployed are amongst Muslims…

GB: That is why we are giving a guarantee that every young person under twenty-five who hasn’t got a job will get an offer for a job or training and that is come this year from our determination never to have a generation suffering from youth unemployment again. We are giving this guarantee that any person out of work for six months will get a chance for work or training.

AJV: One of the important policies impacting negatively on young Muslims in Harrow is the Prevent Violent Extremism programme. Many independent reports on Prevent have criticised the programme. Will you consider re-examining the programme?

GB: No young person who is a law-abiding citizen should have anything to worry about Prevent. We are trying to build links between all the different communities. We are putting a huge amount of resources into building interfaith links and to build links between different schools and communities and between young people in the different faith groups and their communities. I want to see a positive attitude to getting people working together, getting people to work across religious faiths and getting people to see that there’s a common ground between the different religious faiths. I w as talking about it this morning when I was speaking about the importance of recognizing that every single faith in the world that is an important faith like the Islamic faith has at its centre the idea that we are all neighbours and that we have got responsibilities toward each other.


For further information contact us on 020 7608 2822 or 077 68 241 325. Please acknowledge The Muslim News when using the press release

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