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|Islington Borough Councillor
for Bunhill Ward
6 May 2010
|Preceded by||Donna Boffa|
Claudia Webbe is the former chairman of Scotland Yard's Trident Gang Crime Command Independent Advisory Group, having participated in its development in the mid-1990s. She is a Councillor in the London Borough of Islington and a member of the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party.
Webbe spoke in defence of Livingstone when, on 24 February 2006, he was found guilty by the Standards Board for England's Adjudication Panel of bringing his office into disrepute and suspended from office for four weeks, due to his comparison of a Jewish Evening Standard reporter to a Nazi concentration camp guard. In a letter to The Guardian, Webbe emphasised the anti-racism organisations Livingstone had worked for, and stated that "his history of work in the anti-racist movement is unquestionable." Livingston's suspension was later overturned by the High Court.
Anti-gun crime advocacy
In his 2007 Callaghan Memorial Lecture in Cardiff, Tony Blair, commenting on gun crime, said that we cannot pretend "that it is not young black kids doing it..." and stated that the black community "need to be mobilised in denunciation of this gang culture that is killing innocent young black kids", In response, Webbe described the Prime Minister's comments as a "kick in the teeth" to the historical and ongoing work of the black community, arguing that "In the absence of statutory provision, black voluntary, community and faith organisations had historically stepped up to the challenge to provide vital...self-help organisations so as to meet the needs of... vulnerable children and young people and challenge inequality and racism". Webbe argued that far from sitting back it was the community itself that was providing a safety net of services, support and action to protect young people from harm, adding that in her opinion Blair was "wrong to assert or imply that this is a 'black problem': the bullet does not discriminate in its effect, and neither is the black community responsible for the manufacture, supply and importation of dangerous weapons."
Following a number of murders of children in south London in February 2007, Webbe appeared on several radio and TV channels to discuss the issue.
Operation Trident chairperson
Operation Trident was launched in 1998 as a result of community pressure to tackle the disproportionate effects of gun crime on black communities, where both the victim and the assailant are black. The Metropolitan Police now has a dedicated Operation Trident police response unit. In February 2013, the Trident Independent Advisory group was reformed as the Trident Gang Crime Command with new members. Webbe opposed the change, and called it "...a backwards step on race."
Webbe is the former chairman of the media campaigns group of Operation Trident, responsible for leading its campaigns. Webbe also serves as a board director of Crimestoppers,[when?] and also helped to establish the London Multi-Agency Race Hate Crime Forum, an anti-racist campaigning organisation, whose current secretariat is the Metropolitan Police Authority.
Webbe has worked for numerous anti-racist organisations and campaigns including the Anti-Racist Alliance and the National Assembly Against Racism. She has been the chief executive/Director of both Westminster Race Equality Council and Bath and North East Somerset Race Equality Council.
Webbe is also an adviser to the "Kick Racism Out of Football" campaign, chaired by Herman Ouseley, former Chairperson of the Commission for Racial Equality. She is a board director of Homes for Islington, one of the largest housing management organisations in the UK. However, Homes for Islington is one of the government's controversial Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMO), and is viewed by some campaigners as a step towards the privatisation of council housing.[who?]
Webbe is also a public speaker and campaigner for human rights and social justice. For the past 11 years she has been the chairperson of Path, a West Midlands organisation tackling generational unemployment and barriers to career advancement among Britain's minority ethnic communities.
- "Claudia Webbe". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
- "Mayor rapped for Nazi guard jibe", BBC News, 11 February 2005.
- "Letters: ...and the problem with Ken's sentence". The Guardian. 28 February 2006. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
- "Bunhill". Islington Council. 6 May 2010.
- "Bunhill Ward". Islington Council. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
- Patrick Wintour and Vikram Dodd, "Blair blames spate of murders on black culture", Comment: Claudia Webbe, The Guardian, 12 April 2007.
- Claudia Webbe, "A kick in the teeth from Tony Blair", The Guardian, 12 April 2007.
- "Q&A: Operation Trident". BBC News. 14 September 2006. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
- "Trident Independent Advisory Group 'loses independence' claim". BBC News. 8 February 2013. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
- Dodd, Vickram (7 February 2013). "Met police shakeup of gang violence panel 'is backwards step' on race". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 November 2014.