Labour Party amends equality statement to include non-religious people

Posted: Fri, 15 Aug 2014

Labour Party amends equality statement to include non-religious people

The Labour Party has revised its recently-adopted equality statement to cover non-religious people, having previously only referred to 'religion'.

Last month the National Secular Society reported that Labour's policy making body – the National Policy Forum – had adopted an equality statement that included 'religion' but failed to include 'or belief'.

Both the Equality Act 2010 and human rights law use the term 'religion or belief' to cover both religious and non-religious people.

The statement has been amended following appeals from Labour Humanists to Labour's Joint Policy Committee. The process was overseen by Labour Party Chair Angela Eagle MP.

Naomi Phillips, chair of Labour Humanists, commented: "While we supported the otherwise excellent statement, we made clear to representatives from all major groups in the Labour party that if the statement went ahead as it was written, it would create serious inequalities between religious and non-religious people and could have profound implications for the status of humanists and other non-religious people within and outside of Labour."

The equality statement now reads:

"Labour is the Party of equality. We believe that no person should suffer discrimination or a lack of opportunity because of their gender, gender identity, age, disability, race, religion or belief, socio-economic status or sexual orientation. In government, every decision we take will be taken with that in mind. We will ensure the policies across these eight documents and in our manifesto will be implemented ensuring that they further rather than hinder this cause."

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, labour