Sharon Hodgson MP

Working hard for Washington and Sunderland West


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Labour launches LGBT manifesto - A Better Future for Britain's LGBT Community

LGBT Labour Logo

Today Labour launched its 2015 LGBT manifesto: "A Better Future for Britain’s LGBT Community".

In the UK today nearly a quarter of LGB young people, and half of young trans people, have attempted suicide.  Mental health issues in young people is a silent crisis affecting people up and down the country, and under Labour these vulnerable young people will have prioritised access to mental health services, including those bullied because of their sexuality or gender identity and we will ensure teachers are equipped to identify problems early and link children up with the support they need.

We have come a long way on this issue over the last few decades, but there is still a long way to go.  The Labour Party are rightly proud of the achievements that have been made in that time, but this is no time for complacency, this is a time for action.

Labour have a wide-ranging package of measures to help tackle discrimination and promote positive representation for LGBT young people, including action on homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools, strengthening the law on hate crime and challenging narrow and prejudiced representations of LGBT people in public life.

Labour’s LGBT manifesto will pledge five promises to the LGBT community to drive forward progress:

1.Tackle the discrimination that holds LGBT people back:

Labour will strengthen the law on LGBT hate crime, undertake a review of gender identity law and policy and implement "Turings Law" offering posthumous pardons to gay men convicted for homosexuality.

2. An education free from homophobia, biphobia and transphobia:

With Labour, teachers will be equipped to tackle LGBT-phobic bullying, and we will introduce age-appropriate compulsory sex and relationship education in all State-supported schools so that young people learn to respect each other’s relationships

3. Leadership on LGBT rights around the world:

Labour will appoint the UK’s first International envoy on LGBT rights to promote respect on LGBT rights globally, and review the procedures for asylum seekers fleeing persecution for their sexuality or gender identity, to ensure the rules are upheld fairly and humanely.

4. Accessible and supportive health services:

With Labour, people will have an equal right to mental health treatment including talking therapies and we will work with the trans community to improve access to gender care services.

5.Fairer and more diverse representation in public life:

Labour will work to improve LGBT representation in Parliament and challenge narrow representations of LGBT people across public life.

Commenting on the launch Sharon Hodgson, Shadow Women & Equalities Minister, said:

"Nobody in this country should ever be made to feel bad, or even forced to the verge of suicide, simply for being who they are. Too many young LGBT people are still suffering abuse and discrimination, and in 21st century Britain this is unacceptable."

"As a country we have come so far since the dark days of widespread prejudice and fear only a few decades ago, and thankfully even further from the days of criminalising LGBT people. This does not mean we have reached the end of his struggle however."

"Everybody in our country deserves to be treated with respect and valued for who they are. This is our aim, and I believe our focus on this LGBT equality will go some way towards achieving this goal."

"Labour's LGBT manifesto shows a clear commitment to stand up for the rights of the LGBT community, and to take the action necessary to both providing help when needed and promoting education and leadership to put an end to this damaging discrimination."


Labour LGBT Website:


Labour launches LGBT manifesto - A Better Future for Britain's LGBT Community

Labour launches LGBT manifesto - A Better Future for Britain's LGBT Community

A Better Plan for Equality - Labour's Manifestos for Women and BAME

BAME Labour Logo

Labour Woman to Woman Logo


A Better Plan for Equality - Labour's Manifestos for Women and BAME.

This week Labour launched its manifestos for women and for the Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community.  The two documents set out how a Labour Government will enable women and BAME communities to fulfill their potential, as part of a wider plan to raise living standards for working families.

In the manifesto for women it sets out a new commitment announced this week to help grandparents who want to be more involved in caring for their grandchildren, by consulting on allowing grandparents to share in parents' unpaid parental leave, enabling them to take time off work without fear of losing their job.

Parents are increasingly relying on other family members to help them juggle work and childcare, particularly grandparents. More than half of all mothers rely upon grandparents for childcare when they first go back to work after maternity leave, while two-thirds of grandparents with grandchildren aged under-16 provide some childcare. To help grandparents help their families and stay in their jobs, Labour will consult on what flexibilities would make the system work better for families and businesses given changing patterns of care, including allowing grandparents who want to be more involved in caring for their grandchildren to share in parents' unpaid parental leave.

Labour's Manifesto for women also sets out measures to:

  • Tackle low pay, by increasing the minimum wage to more than £8 by October 2019.
  • Tackle the gender pay gap with new pay transparency rules for all large employers.
  • Extend free childcare from 15 to 25 hours a week for working parents of three and four-year-olds with proper funding from increasing the bank levy. 
  • Guarantee access for parents of primary-age children to 8am-6pm wraparound childcare through primary schools.
  • Protect the Sure Start budget and open up an additional 50,000 childcare places.
  • Double paid paternity leave from two to four weeks, and increase pay to the equivalent of a full weeks work at the National Minimum Wage so that more families can take up their entitlements.
  • Support healthy relationships by introducing age-appropriate compulsory sex and relationship education.
  • Tackle violence against women and girls by appointing a new commissioner to enforce national standards on tackling domestic and sexual abuse, strengthening the law and providing more stable central funding for women's refuges and Rape Crisis Centres.

Similarly, the BAME Manifesto outlines a raft of policies that will ensure that no matter where you come from or what you look like, in this country you should always have the means and opportunity to fulfill your potential.

Key measures include:

  • Introducing a cross-departmental race equality strategy to drive progress across Government.
  • Ensure a better and more inclusive public services, with our Parliament, police and judiciary representative of the communities they serve.
  • Taking tougher action on hate crime, including anti-semitism and Islamophobia.
  • Introduce a compulsory jobs guarantee for young people unemployed for over a year, tackling the scandal of disproportionately high BAME youth unemployment.
  • Taking action to reduce health inequalities, such as BAME cancer diagnosis and higher mortality rates among many ethnic minority communities.
  • Reform stop and search police powers, making stopping somebody based on skin colour illegal.
  • Protecting all of our rights under the Human Rights Act.

Commenting on the launches Sharon said:

"These manifestos get to the heart of the issue of equality, bringing forward policies that will benefit not just those directly affected, but everybody in our society."

"Thinking back over the years, we have made such strides as a country in taking action on gender and race inequality, but there is still so much work to do. Today, for example, a woman in 2015 still earns an average of only 81p for every pound a man does, and youth unemployment for young black people is twice as high as it is for young white people. These discrepancies are simply not fair, and they are not just bad for those affected, they are also bad for our economy, as so much talent is being wasted.

Progress can never be achieved by just hoping for the best, and the record of this current Government proves that when you ignore this issue things go backwards. We need a Government that is committed to this fight, and will take the action necessary to help everybody, no matter who they are, achieve more and have all the opportunities they deserve.

The proposals outlined this week will help families here in the North East balance their childcare better, help women escape the trap of low-paid work, will make police powers fairer and restore some trust, will address the issue of violence against women head-on, will underline our fight against hate crime and will make our country lead by example in having more female and BAME representation in public life.

Labour have always led on the issue of equality, and when back in Government I look forward to us undoing the damage of the last five years, and then moving forward, ensuring that gender, sexual orientation, race or religion, will never be a barrier to success in our country."

Here are the links to the BAME and Women's manifestos:

BAME Manifesto:

Manifesto for Women:


BAME Labour National webpage

Labour Woman to Woman website

Labour Launch their Manifestos for Women and BAME 2015

A Better Plan for Equality - Labour's Manifestos for Women and BAME  

"Today we saw a Labour Party manifesto that is bold yet responsible and it really offers us the chance to build a better Britain."

Sharon Hodgson

The Labour Party today launched their 2015 General Election Manifesto, setting out what a Labour Government would do to build a better Britain.

Labour’s Manifesto starts from the idea that Britain only succeeds when working people succeed.  Today’s manifesto launch underlined Labour's commitment to fiscal responsibility, introducing a Budget Responsibility Lock which guarantees that each and every manifesto policy is costed, and paid for without a single extra penny of borrowing.  The first line of our first will be: “this budget cuts the deficit every year”.

Some of the key policies outlined today included: raising the minimum wage to more than £8 an hour by 2019, protecting tax credits in the next parliament, creating a new National Primary Childcare Service to increase affordable wrap-around childcare, pledging not to raise income tax, National Insurance or VAT, and freezing rail fares in the first year of a Labour Government while the railways are reformed to work in the best interests of passengers.

Alongside these, however, was a commitment to give more power to regions, like the North East, to help communities improve their areas without the need to wait for central Government.

Labour will end a century of centralisation, breaking the "Westminster knows best" attitude, by devolving power and decision-making to people and their local communities.  A Labour Government will unleash the power of cities and regions to drive economic growth and prosperity, encouraging local authorities to innovate to better serve their communities.  This means not imposing change, but giving control to local bodies to better run schools, health care, policing, skills, housing and transport.  Making the best use of local knowledge.

This will be done by transferring £30billion of funding to city and county regions along with new powers over economic development, skills, employment, housing, and business support.  This will include control over local transport systems so that in future, local bodies can integrate trains, buses, trams and cycling into a single network.  Labour will also enable regions to retain 100% of additional business rates raised from growth in their area.

Commenting today, Sharon Hodgson said:

"Today we saw a Labour Party manifesto that is bold yet responsible and it really offers us the chance to build a better Britain."

"From securing our nation's finances to protecting vital public services, tackling the scourge of low-pay to taking on the tax avoiders, a Labour Government will build a Britain that works for working people, standing up for the many, not just the few."

"Labour's plans to give regions more power are badly needed. Over the last few years the North East has been totally marginalised and overlooked. When the Tories speak of a recovery we know they are talking about the banks in the City of London and the businesses of the South East. We need our area to be given the attention it deserves, or else our young people won't be able to enjoy the same opportunities as those from other parts of the country, and our services will never be good as the ones we deserve. We need a Government that understands the North East, and will act decisively to improve the lives of the people who live here."

"Labour's new plans would finally give local authorities the ability to plan long-term, on the basis of what communities actually need, not just what someone in Westminster thinks they need, and I also think giving councils the power to require particular types of shops to apply for planning permission is good news. Local areas want a say in their own High Streets, and giving them these powers will hopefully mean less payday lenders taking over and more small businesses springing up, catering for the real needs of the local community."

"Also, as someone who has campaigned for a long time on extending the Metro to Washington, I am pleased to see Labour’s plan to give regions more power over transport. This will enable us to integrate our transport network to make sure it serves the best interest of all the people that use it, and it will hopefully make getting around that much easier for us all."

"Today's manifesto has underlined Labour's commitment to making this country once again work in the interests of working people. Protecting what is most valuable to us, investing in our future, and tackling head-on the biggest challenges we face today. Giving more power to us in the North East is one way of doing that, and I believe it will give us the chance to build a real recovery for the many, that we can all enjoy."


Download a copy of the Labour Party 2015 manifesto here >

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Labour Manifesto Launch 13-04-2015

"Today we saw a Labour Party manifesto that is bold yet responsible and it really offers us the chance to build a better Britain."

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