Help to end

identity-based violence

Our Manifesto Review

General Election 2019

Welcome to our election hub.  We are pleased to share our assessments and insights into the kinds of policies we can expect the parties to pursue during the next parliament.

We have reviewed the manifestos and certain policy statements made during the 2019 general election campaign by the most prominent political parties in England, Wales, and Scotland; the Brexit Party; the Green Party; the Conservative and Unionist Party; the Labour Party; the Liberal Democrats; Plaid Cymru; the Scottish National Party. It sets out what has been pledged by the major parties regarding identity-based violence, including hate crime, violence extremism, and mass atrocities. 

During the election campaign, we sought specific commitments from all the parties to prioritise the prevention of identity-based violence abroad during the next parliament, and particularly to support cross-party working towards the prevention of mass atrocities. Protection Approaches wrote an open letter together with members of the UK Civil Society Atrocity Prevention Working Group to all the party leaders and the full responses have been published. 

As a result, we are pleased that, whatever the outcome of the election, there will be near consensus in parliament on the need to prioritise a joined-up approach on the prevention of mass atrocities abroad, signalling an important shift. The Conservatives, Labour, and the SNP make an explicit commitment to cross-party working in the next parliament. Labour, SNP and the Lib Dems will assess the feasibility of a cross-cutting prevention analysis unit.

All parties except the Brexit Party are moving, although in different ways, towards a more joined up approach to foreign policy. Labour, SNP, Plaid Cymru, and the Liberal Democrats all commit to pursuing greater coherence between Britain’s trade policy and its wider international responsibilities. Building upon 2017, we continue to see growing support for a review of the UK’s arms sales policy.

We have been disappointed that although this general election has been frequently described as a Brexit election, and despite acknowledgement throughout the election campaign from all parties that the issue of Brexit has created new and exacerbated existing social divisions across the country, no party sets out a vision to bridge this cleavage. 

The country feels more divided than ever before. Our polling shows that a majority of both Leave and Remain voters see ‘the other side’ as a threat to the success and prosperity of the UK. We know that hate crime and other forms of identity-based violence is rising. It is a shame that no party took the opportunity to communicate a message to the country of national unity and community. 

We judge that it would be a mistake to wait for social tensions to escalate further. Social cohesion is not just ‘nice to have’ but must be a fundamental tenet of contemporary British stability and security. The country must be brought back together. 

Moments of this election campaign have revealed that our political parties could all do more within their own structures to prevent prejudice and its consequences. The intervention by religious leaders condemning the Labour and Conservative parties of institutional prejudice reminds us that statements and manifestos can never represent the full picture.

Whatever the outcome of the election, our objectives will remain the same. Unless prevention is prioritised and root causes are addressed, current crises facing our local and global social cohesion will continue to deteriorate, with the most vulnerable paying the greatest price.  Whoever leads the next parliament, the collective responsibility to help prevent discrimination in all its forms, and to help protect people from identity-based violence - here in the UK and around the world - will remain unchanged. 

Building support for UK atrocity prevention

In order to secure commitments on atrocity prevention from the main parties, Protection Approaches wrote an open letter with members of the UK Civil Society Atrocity Prevention Working Group to all the party leaders. Their responses are listed below.

GE2019 policy trends

Preventing identity-based violence at home and abroad

Each general election we review the party manifestos and policies that relate to the prevention of identity-based violence both at home and abroad.​ We do not advocate for any party and undertake this review in order to collate and present relevant policy positions to inform the public.

Read the review here