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'Most recommendations implemented' from Labour racism review - but author says more could be done

Labour has confirmed most recommendations from a 2022 report into racism in the party have now been implemented - but the report's author thinks there could still be more to do.

Martin Forde KC was the barrister appointed by Sir Keir Starmer to investigate allegations of racism, sexism and bullying within the Labour Party in the wake of its antisemitism crisis under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, and his report included recommendations.

Labour has now confirmed that 154 of the 165 recommendations have been completed, with 11 considered but not progressed.

Sky News has also seen documents provided to Labour's national executive committee at its November meeting last year, outlining which actions will be taken.

Not all the recommendations will be implemented - for example - the use of blind CVs in recruitment.

But the document implies the party will offer an extensive programme of "unconscious bias training" and will train members of recruitment panels.

Training is also expected to be rolled out to MPs, peers, councillors, and mayors.

Mr Forde told Sky News he is now "actively pursuing an invitation to speak to the working party about the outstanding recommendations that have not been taken up".

In his original report, he found the party had been operating with a perception of a hierarchy of racism, where some forms of discrimination were taken more seriously than others.

Black Labour MPs have previously shown their discomfort with the slow progress stemming from Mr Forde's report.

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In reaction to this news today, a few have urged the Labour leadership to do more.

"This disingenuous attempt by the Labour leadership to brush the scandal of the Forde revelations under the carpet is a slap in the face for loyal black members and voters," one MP told Sky News.

"It feels to many of us like the party leadership is riding high in the polls and willing to sacrifice black voters and members in the process.

"Black members and voters are angry and disillusioned. We demand actions, not words."

Another said: "I regularly hear about the growing disillusionment with Labour in black and brown communities.

"Instead of taking us for granted, we need the party to show it values all our all voters - white, brown and black alike."

Sky News understands a group of black MPs are meeting next week to discuss this matter again and to decide whether to draft another letter to the leadership demanding urgent action to tackle anti-black racism and implement Mr Forde's recommendations in full.

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In a statement, the Labour Party said: "We are fully committed to tackling racist and discriminatory attitudes wherever they arise in whatever section of the party.

"Labour has apologised for the culture and attitudes expressed by senior staff that were examined by the report.

"We have implemented the bulk of the recommendations within the report, including a number that were implemented before the report was published, and the delivery of further recommendations is under way.

"We have established one of the most robust complaints systems in the world to ensure that all complaints and disciplinary processes are dealt with fairly and impartially and agreed and implemented codes on conduct on Islamophobia and on Afrophobia and anti-black racism which set out the minimum code of conduct expected by the party of all of its members.

"We have also agreed funding for a black leadership programme within the party, and new codes of conduct for members and elected representatives.

"We have engaged with Martin Forde since the publication of his report, and both parties have indicated a desire to work together to see that its recommendations are implemented swiftly."