Islington London Borough Council
6 May 2010
|Preceded by||Donna Boffa|
|Born||Claudia Naomi Webbe
Leicester, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom
Claudia Naomi Webbe is a British politician and anti-racism campaigner. She was formerly the chair of Operation Trident (now Scotland Yard's Trident Gang Crime Command), having participated in its development in the mid-1990s. She is a Councillor in the London Borough of Islington, and has been a member of the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party since 2016.
Webbe wrote 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 her letter to The Guardian, Webbe emphasised the anti-racism organisations Livingstone had represented, and stated that "his history of work in the anti-racist movement is unquestionable." Livingstone's suspension was later overturned by the High Court.
She was elected to Islington London Borough Council in 2010 as part of the Labour majority controlling the council, representing Bunhill ward, and re-elected in 2014. She is the council's executive member for environment and transport.
Webbe described the 2011 England riots as "venting of anger" and "a wake-up call for society" resulting from several causes, including tensions over inequality, poverty, unemployment, and policing tactics.
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.
Webbe was the head of the Operation Trident Independent Advisory Group, created in 1998 as a result of community pressure to tackle the disproportionate effects of gun crime on black communities. Webbe led the media campaigns group of Operation Trident, responsible for leading its campaigns. Following the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry the Metropolitan Police launched a dedicated Operation Trident police response unit, whose remit was to prevent, investigate and solve gun related murders where both the victim and the assailant are black. In 2010, it was reported that Operation Trident would be disbanded as part of spending cuts.
In February 2013, Trident was reformed as the Trident Gang Crime Command to focus on youth violence, with the police chairing the Trident Independent Advisory Group itself. Webbe opposed the change, and called it "a backwards step on race".
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. She also served as a board director of Crimestoppers,[when?] and helped to establish the London Multi-Agency Race Hate Crime Forum, an anti-racist campaigning organisation, whose secretariat was the Metropolitan Police Authority.
Webbe was an adviser to the "Kick Racism Out of Football" campaign, chaired by Herman Ouseley, former Chairperson of the Commission for Racial Equality, and was an Independent Equality Advisor to the Football Association (FA). She was previously a board director of housing management organisation Homes for Islington.
Webbe is also a public speaker and campaigner for human rights and social justice. For 11 years she chaired 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.
- "Who's who on Labour's National Executive Committee?". 10 October 2016. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
- "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.
- Lowe, Frank (2014). "11. The August 2011 Riots—Them and Us". Thinking Space: Promoting Thinking About Race, Culture and Diversity in Psychotherapy and Beyond. London: Karnac Books. p. 222. ISBN 978-1-78-220-059-8 – via EBSCOhost.
Claudia Webbe, a social worker who helped set up Operation Trident, a police unit aimed at combating drug-related gun crime, argued that there is no one single underlying cause of the riots, but believed that they were clearly linked to tensions that had arisen over issues ranging from the economy to social deprivation and policing. She saw the riots as a venting of anger about inequality, decades of generational unem - ployment, poverty, and police stop-and-search—in short, a wake-up call for society.
- Wintour, Patrick; Dodd, Vikram (12 April 2007). "Blair blames spate of murders on black culture". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
- Webbe, Claudia (12 April 2007). "A kick in the teeth from Tony Blair". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
- Syal, Rajeev (21 November 2010). "Operation Trident may be ditched in spending cuts". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
- "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, Vikram (7 February 2013). "Met police shakeup of gang violence panel 'is backwards step' on race". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 November 2014.