One of the UK’s newest political parties, the All People’s Party that was founded to address inequality in south London, are now taking aim at the Southwark and Lambeth GLA seat.
The party was originally created by Labour and Lib Dem defectors to fight inequality across boroughs to make sure minorities, women, young people and working class people have proportional representation.
In Southwark they say it is ‘an insult’ that out of 13 political leaders only one is from an ethnic minority.
“I want to be the voice for our voiceless community,” said candidate Amadu Kanumansa.
“Our community is facing a lot of hardships, housing, jobs, education, and most of all opportunities to reach the top. We need change now to fulfil our dreams.”
Business owner and entrepreneur Mr Kanumansa will be representing the APP in the battle for the seat currently held by Labour’s Valerie Shawcross.
He has pledged to keep housing as top priority if he is elected and has promised to build 32,000 affordable houses each year for the next four years.
Mr Kanumansa previously worked as a mini-cab driver before setting up his own business taking elderly residents to the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca every year.
Educated in Africa and Europe, with a masters in Economic and Social Planning, he stood for Dulwich and West Norwood last year in the general election.
His policies comes as part of the party’s wider goal of building a united community and tackling London’s problems with equality at higher levels of society.
“We want to ensure that people with medium-to-low incomes aren’t priced out of living in London,” Mr Kanumansa said.
“This would mean 1,000 homes for every London borough every year.”
Yet Mr Kanumansa promises these houses will not affect London’s green spaces, as the APP also has environmental concerns high on the party agenda.
He ‘cannot believe’ the Labour group at Southwark Council are still persisting with the planned demolition of the natural forest at Camberwell cemetery in the face of so much opposition.
Nearly 11,000 residents of the area have signed the petition to ‘Save Southwark Woods’, something Kanumansa believes should be listened to.
“We must work with communities, not ignore them,” he said.
“I will work with environmental protection groups, environment agencies and experts to take radical steps to tackle air pollution in London.”
With the party’s goals of embracing diversity and togetherness, Mr Kanumansa is worried by the disconnection between the police and the boroughs they represent.
“It is worrying that a large majority of people, especially young people, feel disillusioned and do not trust the police,” he said.
He believes the introduction of body-worn cameras across the Metropolitan Police would improve this relationship between the force and public.
He also views is as important that the senior level of the Metropolitan Police becomes more representative of London, with an aim of at least 40% women and 25% minorities in senior roles by 2024.
“It is important for the London Mayor to realise that a police body should be a reflection of the society they aim to serve,” he said.
“Once people see that the Metropolitan Police is becoming more representative of them, you will begin to reclaim trust in the sectors of society that are most sceptical of them.”
Mr Kanumansa is also in favour of the lengthening of the Bakerloo line, citing the current plans of an extension to Lewisham as a good first step but not enough.
Image courtesy of All People’s Party, with thanks