When I arrived in London as a teenager, Sir John Major was Prime Minister. I felt a connection with the City. My political views formed, firstly at university, and later whilst living in Islington. I joined the Liberal Democrats.
I was honoured to be elected as the Lead London Regional Diversity Champion. I continuously help to increase participation and engagement within our inclusion and diversity teams. I am vocal within Liberal Democrats Members to help represent those underrepresented in the UK Politics. In 2020 I founded the national BLAC Liberal Democrats (Blac Lives Action Committee) with the mission to make heard the voice of Black members within the Party.
I know already you are as keen as I am to improve the experience of people from under-represented groups within the party, particularly people who are not White. May I
thank you now for your excellent attitude, for listening closely to my suggestions on what to do. The improvements are immediately noticeable. Please keep going.
I want to help provide a platform for better training and promote a programme that supports ethnic minority members to develop their potential, so they are competently able to stand for external and internal elections of office;
I want to see established an attractive and resilient message that helps to build a strong foundation for the Liberal Democrats to engage in Ethnic Minority communities;
Within the party, I want to establish a better understanding of Ethnic minority issues on housing, education, LGBT+, heath, crime, etc. This will allow us to better serve the ethnic minority communities at a national and local level.
As a former Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate, I have seen prejudice close-up, within British politics and, sadly, within our party. And I know that I'm not the only one. My experience led me to take time to reflect and then, at Harvard, I learnt from world leaders on race equality, collaborative working, and leadership. I want to translate my experience and learning into change for our party in the UK. As a starting point, we must implement the Alderdice Review recommendations.
I was a 100/200m Sprinter. Catastrophe struck in my early 20's when my achilles tendon ruptured. For 20 months I was in a wheelchair. I needed wheelchair-friendly public transport to hospital and the inadequacy of it shocked me. It made me realise that everyone has a choice. When you see something that's wrong, do you leave it for someone else, or do you fight for change?
I decided to fight for change. I set up a transport company and, eventually, was transporting 5,000 vulnerable children and adults in wheelchair accessible vehicles. I got involved in drafting the Private Hire Vehicles Act and helped lead the campaign for cab safety. I delivered contracts to the 2012 London Paralympics. I was named in the Black Power List.
The Federal Policy Committee has had a busy autumn, kicking off our next programme of policy development work.
We have spent some time over the last few months trying to understand the party's key political priorities to win over the voters we need, and the right messages and supporting policies needed to achieve that (recognising that detailed policy is not usually the thing that swings most voters). This has been the starting point for our latest programme of work.
The Liberal Democrats have today called for urgent measures to support the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV), including a formal return and improvement of the shielding programme.
The Government has so far failed to announce any specific measures for those who were classed as CEV in spite of their increased risk of serious illness from Covid. It comes after two cases of the newly discovered 'Omicron' variant of Covid were reported in the UK.
Whilst the main argument against the First Past The Post electoral system (FPTP) is that the winner frequently has far fewer than half the votes, a second effect is that some winners have huge majorities even when it is under half the vote.
These constituencies become safe seats and their MPs are accountable to nobody but their party leaving the public powerless to take action and hold them to account. It should come as no surprise then that MPs in safe seats are far more likely to have taken up second jobs than their colleagues in marginal constituencies.
Let's Make Lib Dems BME Friendly - It's Not What We Do, But How We Do It That Counts
Below is an outline of why I am standing for Vice President.
I am an established Race Equality and Diversity campaigner with a Business Management background and an established record of striving for Race Equity across the Party. In the course of my 25 years as Party member I have served on the Federal Policy Committee, International Relations Committee, been Secretary of the PCA, vice chair of EMLD and served as a Regional Diversity Champion. I am also Secretary of Lib Dem Friends of India. It is this personal history that accounts for my reputation as a Community Champion within the Party and my high profile amongst BME communities nationally.