Operation Black Vote (OBV) launched its 2018 political shadowing scheme for talented BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) politicians on Thursday 18th January at The Speaker’s House, House of Commons, London. Speakers at the launch event included Simon Woolley, Director of OBV; The Rt Hon John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons, Helen Grant MP and Lib Dem leader, Sir Vince Cable, among others.
The OBV MP Shadowing Scheme 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. The scheme has 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 new OBV MP Shadowing Scheme cohort includes 38 dynamic individuals who 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. 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."
To find out more about the scheme visit www.obv.org.uk