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Rev Jesse Jackson to ask MPs to help the world's poor

American civil rights activist, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, is coming to London on 20 October to give his backing to Christian Aid’s lobby of Parliament that day, aimed at moving climate change and global tax transparency up the political agenda.

Jackson, who was part of the civil rights movement in the US and a strident opponent of apartheid in South Africa, will address supporters at Methodist Central Hall in Westminster at 11am, alongside new Director Loretta Minghella and Christian Aid partners from India and Zambia.

In the afternoon Christian Aid supporters from across the UK will lobby their local MPs at the House of Commons with the aim of securing stronger government action on climate change and international tax dodging by some multi-national concerns. 

Reverend Jesse Jackson said: ‘We understand that times are hard, both in the US and the UK, but we are still better off than our neighbours in the developing world.  We are reminded that in the Bible's New Testament, Jesus teaches us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and shelter the homeless.  Jesus reminds us that when we feast, we should invite the poor and injured. 

‘So while we fight for jobs and peace and justice in the US and the UK, we must remember to keep hope alive for our brothers and sisters in Africa, in the Caribbean, in South Asia, and all those in need around the world.’

Paul Brannen, head of advocacy and influence at Christian Aid, said ‘October 20th is an important day in the political calendar.  The Comprehensive Spending Review will be presented that day in Parliament.

‘Most MPs will be in attendance, which gives our supporters an ideal opportunity to lobby their local representative. With more than 200 new MPs it’s vital we lobby them on the need for urgent action on climate change and tax dodging, both of which affect millions of people living in developing countries.  We also want to take this opportunity to thank the government for protecting the aid budget.

‘We are delighted Jesse Jackson, an outspoken campaigner for social justice, will be joining us to help get our messages across to the British government.’

On climate change, Christian Aid is campaigning for rich countries to:

•  make deep and urgent cuts in their own domestic carbon emissions in line with keeping global warming within 2°C (at least 40% cuts by 2020)

• assist and help pay for developing countries to reduce their emissions, develop cleanly and adapt to the impacts of climate change (committing to a global, annual fund of at least $160billion).

On global tax transparency, Christian Aid wants reforms that would:

• require companies trading internationally to reveal the profits made and taxes paid in every country where they operate

• ensure an automatic exchange of information between tax jurisdictions to counter the secrecy offered by tax havens. 

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If you would like further information please contact Karen Lobo-Morell on 020 7523 2404 or klobomorell@christian-aid.org.  24 hour press duty phone – 07850 242950  

Notes to Editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in nearly 50 countries. We act where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the lives they deserve.

2. Christian Aid has a vision, an end to global poverty, and we believe that vision can become a reality. Our report, Poverty Over, explains what we believe needs to be done – and can be done – to end poverty.  Details at http://www.christianaid.org.uk/Images/poverty-over-report.pdf

3.  Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of 100 churches and church-related organisations that work together inhumanitarian assistance and development.  Further details at http://www.actalliance.org

4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire

5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit www.christianaid.org.uk