Our History & Aims
East and Southeast Asians for Labour was founded in 1999 by Lady Katy Tse-Blair MBE, Dr Stephen Ng MBE and Dr Mee Ling Ng OBE, with the mission of promoting the Labour Party’s values, civic conscience and duties.
Formerly known as ‘Chinese for Labour’, the group was renamed in 2021 to highlight the rich diversity and importance of all East and Southeast Asian communities and the contributions that they make to the UK.
According to the latest census, there are over 1 million East and Southeast Asians in the UK – up from 400,000 in 2011 – although this number has no doubt increased even further in response to the arrival of students from across Asia, healthcare professionals from the Philippines, and British Nationals Overseas (BNOs) from Hong Kong. In 2018, East and Southeast Asians was one of the fastest-growing ethnic groups in the UK.
East and South East Asians for Labour's vision is to make ESEA for Labour the go-to organisation for all Labour policy positions, community engagement and support for ESEA communities in the UK and the International Labour Movement, as well as to ensure that the issues affecting the nations of East and Southeast Asia are brought to the public’s attention.
Our mission is to educate and positively influence the wider public and Labour Party on issues affecting ESEA communities.
We aim to do this by increasing ESEA representation in political life, and especially as part of a Labour government, as well as increasing visibility and participation amongst ESEA communities in wider civic life.
Each of our events, campaigns and partnerships are guided by the following three values:
ADVOCATE: Advocate for the rights of all ESEA communities in the UK, especially new arrivals to the UK from across East and Southeast Asia. We provide connections, information and signposts to other organisations that provide high-quality legal and community support in situ.
INFORM: Inform the wider public about issues affecting ESEA communities in the UK and beyond, and support new arrivals to the UK from across East and Southeast Asia to settle into life in Britain.
REPRESENT: Actively campaign for increased representation of ESEA communities in civic life, ranging from School Governors and Local Councillors to Members of Parliament. We provide funding, connections and time to support endorsed campaigns.