UK General Election – Who Can We Vote For?

UK General Election – Who Can We Vote For?

Statement from Tamil Solidarity

 In every election, voters should choose candidates based on their policies and programs rather than any other reason. Unfortunately, none of the main parties in Britain (Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrats) present a program beneficial for the Black, Asian, and other minority populations. The Conservative Party, known as the “nasty party,” has a history of standing against the rights of all minorities. They spearheaded racist immigration policies and attacked the working conditions of all workers. Unsurprisingly, they are likely to face one of the worst defeats in the coming election.

 The Labour Party under Keir Starmer is no different. The Shadow Home Secretary promises to continue the Conservative’s racist immigration policies. Starmer stated that within a few days of taking office as Prime Minister, he will add more staff to expedite the return of refugees. They are essentially promising a more extreme version of the Rwanda policy.

 Their foreign policy is almost identical to that of the Tories. From Israel and the Middle East to South Asia and collaboration with the Sri Lankan government, the general approach of both parties is the same. In relation to Tamil demands, there is a lot of rhetoric given to the Tamil community, similar to what the Conservative David Cameron government did. We have often heard about how they will bring justice and refer Sri Lanka to the ICC. We demand concrete action.


The Labour Party under Corbyn’s leadership had a policy of implementing sanctions against the Sri Lankan government, particularly cutting all defense assistance, while standing firm for all democratic labour rights within Sri Lanka. Starmer’s leadership completely dismissed this and removed it from their manifesto. They have reverted to “engaging” with the Sri Lankan government to “pressure” them to deliver. We know well that this is empty rhetoric, and nothing will come of it. We have seen the “spectacle” of how both parties are dealing with the ICC in relation to the Palestinian genocide.

 Additionally, we must examine all their policies concerning health, education, housing, policing and many other important issues that impact the lives of millions of people, including the Black and Asian populations. On that basis, we ask everyone to reject these parties. Choose your candidate by examining the policies and programs they stand on.

 For this reason, Tamil Solidarity has supported the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), which was formed by the Railway Union (RMT), the Socialist Party, and other activists. We will continue to support the policies of TUSC and urge voters to vote for TUSC. However, TUSC is not standing in all constituencies. Here is the TUSC candidate list (

 Another party with reasonable policies, the Workers Party of Britain, is also not standing in all constituencies. The Green Party, despite certain weaknesses, is also putting forward various policies that can be supported. Please read their manifestos here:


TUSC Manifesto –

Workers Party Manifesto –

Green Party Manifesto –


 There is one MP of Sri Lankan origin also seeking re-election as a Tory candidate: Ranil Jayawardena. The Conservative Party candidate is a close collaborator with the corrupt Rajapaksa regime. He has a history of voting against any progressive measures made in Parliament. Voters must reject him.


Additionally, we see the grand comedy of a Tamil standing for the right wing Reform Party, a party that is very racist at its core and wants to see the back of all immigrants, including the majority of Tamils who are still struggling to establish their lives in the UK. This party and its candidates should be rejected by everyone.

 Furthermore, there are two Labour candidates and one Liberal Democrat candidate of Tamil origin standing in this election. We welcome their views on Tamil rights. However, this is not enough. We cannot choose to vote for a candidate just because they are Tamil. We have seen what policies a Canadian parliamentarian of Tamil origin has defended. While standing in opposition to the national rights of everyone else and supporting policies that attack the living conditions of all, the claim of supporting Tamil rights is meaningless. Any decision taken by the Canadian or UK governments regarding Sri Lanka is linked to the geopolitics and economic interests of the ruling elite in these countries. foregn policy is an extention of domestic policies.

 Of course, the Tamil vote base plays a key role in pressuring these governments. However, this lobbying alone will not result in any substantial change. We don’t need another parliamentarian to join Gary Anandasangaree’s yearly pilgrimage to the United Nations and return with empty rhetoric. We cannot vote to support the attack on the living conditions, working conditions, and other rights of the Tamil population (and other minorities and the poor) that the parties they represent carry out. Hence, Tamil Solidarity will not call for a vote for these candidates.

 In the Sutton and Cheam constituency and in the Stratford and Bow constituency, we request voters to vote for either the Green Party or the Workers’ Party. In Croydon West, in particular, we ask voters to reject the Liberal Democrat candidate and vote for April Jacqueline Ashley, who is standing as a TUSC candidate.

  April Ashley (Croydon West), Nancy Taaffe (Waltham Forest), and Lois Austin (West Ham & Beckton) are well-known to all Tamil Solidarity activists, having worked with Tamil rights activists for over a decade. April, as a national executive member of one of the biggest unions, UNISON, has been involved in numerous solidarity efforts. She was instrumental in mobilising against the Commonwealth meeting that took place in Sri Lanka. She regularly attends Tamil Solidarity’s annual events and has worked closely to bring Tamil Solidarity’s demands to union members. All these candidates stand firm on national rights and all democratic rights of Tamils, alongside having an uncompromising position on defending the rights of everyone in the UK. They all have a long history of engaging in struggle, winning rights and conditions, and maintaining unwavering political positions.

 In other areas where Tamils live, such as East Ham, East Harrow, West Harrow, and Tooting, we request voters to choose either the Green Party or the Workers’ Party.

 In Hammersmith and Chiswick, we request voters to choose Naranee Ruthra-Rajan. To our understanding, Naranee has not asked for votes based solely on being Tamil. Not only does she defend the demands of the Tamils, but she also stands for better policies related to workers’ conditions, national services, and immigration. Hence, Tamil Solidarity endorses her candidacy.


 Here is a short list of candidates that we advocate voting for:

 April Ashley (TUSC) – Croydon West

Nancy Taaffe (TUSC) – Waltham Forest

Lois Austin (TUSC) – West Ham & Beckton

Naranee Ruthra-Rajan (Green) – Hammersmith and Chiswick