Operation Black Vote declared confidence that the production line of talented BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) politicians will continue with the launch of a new ‘MPs Shadowing Scheme’.
This new cohort includes 38 dynamic individuals have been paired with MPs from four parties, as they aim to follow in the footsteps of previous mentees such as MPs Helen Grant, Marsha De Cordova, Tan Dhesi (the first turban dressed Sikh MP) and Clive Lewis.
The scheme has also helped launch the careers of Baroness Sayeeda Warsi and Marvin Rees, who became the first black (African Caribbean) city mayor in Europe when he won the Bristol election.
The latest shadowing scheme will be launched at an event at the Speakers Chambers, Parliament, on Thursday 18th January, at 4pm.
This has been the most successful BME political mentoring scheme in Britain and, to date, 10% of all prominent BME elected politicians come from this scheme. They represent a kaleidoscope of ethnicities, faiths and political leanings.
MPs taking part in the scheme include Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable, Green leader Caroline Lucas, new higher education minister Sam Gyimah and Labour’s Diane Abbott.
OBV’s Director, Simon Woolley stated:
‘I am completely overwhelmed by the calibre and desire from this new intake. Hundreds of talented individuals applied and it was often impossible to choose. There is one thing that I will guarantee from this group of individuals; having embraced a path of political leadership, you will see, a number of these young men and women sitting on Her Majesty’s green benches representing constituencies and serving their country.’