The Labour Party, like all the rest of us, are shocked by the news that the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities is closing because it was turned down for two Stormont grants totalling £90,000 which would have ensured the continuation of staff and services.
Patrick Yu and everyone else involved in NICEM have done fantastic work and were the first port of call for information and support on ethnic minority issues. Their seminars and lectures were first class. In March this year Keir Starmer MP visited Northern Ireland on a fact-finding mission on immigration. After he met Labour Party in Northern Ireland, we arranged a very successful meeting with NICEM and representatives from various ethnic minority organisations for him.
At a time when migrants, ethnic minorities and refugees are worried about their future and their safety after the EU Referendum, the closure of NICEM, a major anti-racism organisation, is another blow to those communities.
It also raises some serious questions about the allocation of Stormont funding to organisations that are vital in supporting vulnerable communities.
Our Ethnic Minority Officer, Bikash Chudal will be meeting NICEM to see what can be done about their future.
"I am absolutely shocked by the news NICEM is closing. This is deeply unfortunate for all Ethnic Minority Communities in Northern Ireland. NICEM was a shared platform for all under-represented voices in Northern Ireland.
It is imperative that the OFMDFM resolves this issue immediately."
For more information, please contact Bikash Chudal on firstname.lastname@example.org