How Conservatives can lead the fight against discrimination

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Bright Blue Researcher James Dobson writes for Conservative Home to introduce Bright Blue's new report 'Britain breaking barriers: Strengthening human rights and tackling discrimination'.

Here is an excerpt:

Last year, Bright Blue launched a year-long inquiry, headed by three former Conservative Cabinet Ministers, to understand and find new ways to tackle all forms of discrimination, including gender, racial, disability, sexual, and religious discrimination. The final report from this inquiry launched today, and focuses in particular on removing discrimination in education and employment.

Each policy recommendation is underpinned by conservative principles. Some are small reforms, some attempt to get the state out of people’s way, and some accept “the good that government can do” to unlock people’s potential.

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Brexit is Britain's chance to become a human rights superpower

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Bright Blue Director Ryan Shorthouse writes for The Telegraph on the new 'Britain breaking barriers' report.

Here is an excerpt:

"The current Prime Minister has rightly made it an ambition for the UK to be a “global leader in free trade” after Brexit. This will be vital, as it has been in the past, for this country’s prosperity and security. But, as Bright Blue argues in a report we have launched on Monday, it is time for the Government to champion and prepare for the UK to be a global leader in human rights, too."

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Theresa May urged to clarify stance on European rights convention

Our Researcher James Dobson is quoted in The Guardian urging Theresa May to stick to the position she held during her leadership race that she would not try to take the UK out of the treaty.

Here is an excerpt from the quote:

“The European convention on human rights is a vital document – written and championed by Conservative politicians after the atrocities of world war two – that promotes freedom and provides protection to people across Europe. These freedoms and protections include the rights of gay and lesbian people, the rights of the media against state censorship, more effective prosecution of domestic violence, and the rights of illegitimate children. Britain must remain a proud signatory of it.”

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Theresa May Must Commit To The ECHR

Bright Blue Researcher James Dobson blogs for the Huffington Post on the importance of Theresa May committing to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). 

Here is an excerpt:

"The PM is known to be sceptical of the ECHR which delayed the extradition of the hate preacher Abu Hamza during her time as Home Secretary. She called for withdrawal from the ECHR in the run-up to the Brexit referendum, but later stated, during her successful Conservative Party leadership bid, that she would not pursue withdrawal because she believed that Parliament would not support it.

However, the PM’s scepticism is misplaced. The ECHR is originally derived from English common law and conservatives should feel very comfortable with its contents. It was drafted after the Second World War to protect individuals from an overreaching state and undue power. This was both to prevent the atrocities that had just occurred across Europe, but also to limit the rise of socialism in Eastern Europe."

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What the General Election Could Mean for Human Rights

Bright Blue Director Ryan Shorthouse is quoted in RightsInfo arguing that The Prime Minister is likely to stand on a platform that enhances rather than dilutes workers’ rights and anti-discrimination measures. Here is an excerpt from the quote:

“To strengthen their majority, the Conservative Party need to win current Labour seats which includes a significant number of people on more modest incomes as well as people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.

“They also need to prevent a significant political challenge from the Liberal Democrats in London and the South West of England. The Prime Minister is therefore likely to stand on a platform that enhances rather than dilutes workers’ rights and anti-discrimination measures.”

You can read the article here:

Leaving the EU – but not Europe – must include remaining a proud signatory of the ECHR

Bright Blue Researcher James Dobson blogs for Conservative Home to coincide with the launch of Bright Blue's campaign on the European Convention on Human Rights. 

Here is an excerpt:

"The ECHR has coincided with a period of unprecedented peace across Europe. It’s value in both the UK and abroad should not be underestimated. The ECHR is also crucial to the survival of the union. To attempt to renegotiate the Good Friday Agreement now would be simply reckless. Providing nationalists with further grievances to cite in Scotland would also be careless. The UK has been central to the success of the ECHR: the Prime Minister should show that the UK is leaving the EU and not Europe, and commit a future Conservative Government after Brexit to remaining a proud signatory of the ECHR."

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The government should scrap its immigration target

Bright Blue Researcher James Dobson writes for The Times Red Box on why the Government should scrap its immigration target.

Here is an excerpt:

"But, evidence suggests that British public have few concerns about such immigrants. In fact, Bright Blue’s own polling has found that an overwhelming majority of the public does not want a reduction in the number of international students. Our research also found only 15 per cent of Conservative Party voters wanted fewer international students."

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Ministers put British bill of rights plan on hold until after Brexit

Bright Blue's Director, Ryan Shorthouse was quoted in the Guardian. He urged the Prime Minister, Theresa May, not to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights. 

Here's an excerpt: 

“The European court of human rights has strengthened human rights in more oppressive countries than Britain, such as the rights of illegitimate children, the right of fair trial and the rights of gay and lesbian people."

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Ryan was also quoted in the Daily Mirror

"The Prime Minister is wrong to want to make European Court of Human Rights withdrawal a 2020 manifesto commitment. The ECHR is vital and based on English common law. We should be proud of it"

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Boris Johnson urged to promote human rights after Saudi Arabia gaffe

Bright Blue's Conservatism and human rights project was covered on the front page of the Guardian. Ahead of the Foreign Secretary's visit to Saudi Arabia, Bright Blue defended his comments regarding human rights abuses by the Middle-Eastern state. 

Here's an excerpt: 

"However, one influential voice for moderate Conservatives has urged the Foreign Office not to back away on important human rights issues for fear of offending allies, such as Saudi Arabia.

The Bright Blue thinktank, which counts about 130 Tory MPs and peers among its supporters, has set up a commission to examine how human rights can better influence government policy." 

Read the full article here