As one of the few non-white people involved in local politics in Whitehaven, I must say I was amazed by the hypocrisy and ludicrousness of comments on racism made by Copeland Conservative group leader, Coun David Moore.

Being mixed race and growing up in Whitehaven – where we have few ethnic minorities – I’ve often seen racism up close and personal, and quite frankly it’s never been the Conservative Party offering solidarity, but instead it has been Labour members and progressive Whitehaven residents offering support.

Considering ethnic minorities overwhelmingly vote Labour, I am clearly not alone in my experiences.

In fact most of the time, the Tories – like their Republican Trumpian cousins in the United States – deliberately fan the flames of racial hatred and division. The list is endless; ‘hostile environment’, making it more difficult for ethnic minorities to vote, Windrush, the slogan “If you want a ****** for a neighbour, vote Labour”, bigoted comments made by Boris Johnson about black people, gay men and Muslims, the alignment of the Tories with far right European politicians like anti-Semite Victor Orban in Hungary.

In fact just last week 28 Tory MPs and peers wrote to a national newspaper talking about “Cultural Marxism” – a term that originates from neo-Nazi circles. It is an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory claiming a small group of Jewish academics have subverted Western culture.

Locally, Ben Shirley, whose Linkedin profile says he “oversaw the election of Trudy Harrison” while a “campaign manager”, remains a Conservative councillor despite sharing an anti-Semitic social media post and liking a homophobic comment.

From labelling Nelson Mandela a terrorist to the majority of Tory MPs voting against gay marriage, the Tories have always been on the wrong side of history. They have absolutely nothing to teach anyone on racial issues or equality.

But I didn’t get involved in local politics to only talk about racial justice, I got involved in politics because I want to see a fairer society for everyone with our railways and water under public control, the NHS in public hands, strong trade unions that protect workers, keeping pay and conditions fair, tax loopholes exploited by millionaire Conservative Party donors closed, a media that asks real questions and holds the powerful to account, and a government that never ever thinks that allowing a deadly virus to spread to create “herd immunity” in the population is a good idea.

This is why I got involved in local politics, that is what local Labour will continue to fight for and I am proud to be part of that fight.