Haringey is a diverse borough with a rich history of anti-racism, anti-discrimination, and championing equal rights. From opposing Section 28 to being the first council in Europe to have a Black leader, Haringey has always been at the forefront of equalities.

As a lifelong resident and the Leader of the Council I am proud of our borough’s history of anti-discrimination, but I have spearheaded the #WipeOutDiscrimination campaign because still too many people in Haringey experience hate because of who they are or how they identify.

This issue is close to my heart. I am the first Muslim woman of colour to lead Haringey Council, and I am the daughter of immigrants who came to this country in the 1950s and 60s. My parents faced extreme discrimination as immigrants – they were spat at on the street, told to go back to their own country, and they lived through the Battle of Wood Green where the far-right attempted to take over on the streets of Wood Green. I have personally experienced racism, misogyny, classism, and Islamophobia which only intensified when I became active in public life.

"This issue is close to my heart. I am the first Muslim woman of colour to lead Haringey Council, and I am the daughter of immigrants." Cllr Peray Ahmet, Leader of Haringey Council
Cllr Peray Ahmet, Leader of Haringey Council

What has always kept me going is the fact that the community always has and always will pull together to support those who face and fight discrimination. This is why we’ve launched the #WipeOutDiscrimination campaign, to raise awareness of different kinds of discrimination and how to identify them.

Together we can all build on the excellent work done by campaigners and truly wipe out discrimination in Haringey.

We cannot rely on Boris Johnson or his Tory government to take action on discrimination. Hate crime is up 9% since the start of the pandemic, and the government have undeniably played a role. This Tory government backtracked on their promise to make misogyny a hate crime. Boris Johnson actively reinforces and spreads Islamophobia with his comments on women who wear a burka, not to forget his extremely offensive comments about LGBTQ+ people – none of which I will repeat here. Their race review earlier this year denied the existence of institutional racism in the UK, despite the fact that you’re nine times more likely to face stop and search if you’re black. The government, and particularly the Department for Work and Pensions, treats people who are long term sick or disabled with utter contempt. Unlike Haringey, the Conservatives have a long history of discrimination, from their ‘go home’ vans, to the Windrush scandal, from their indefinite detentions and deportations of LGBT+ immigrants, to their hostile environment policy, the Tories have shown their true colours on equality.

I want to celebrate diversity and all the different communities that make up our wonderful borough. Haringey should be a place where everyone is welcome and is treated fairly, no matter who they are, where they’re from, or how they identify.

Find out more about the # WipeOutDiscrimination campaign here: https://www.haringey.gov.uk/community/community-safety-and-engagement/wipeoutdiscrimination-haringeys-anti-discrimination-campaign

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