George Cole, OBV alumni elected in Leicester


OBV alumni George Orlanzo Cole has been elected to serve on Leicester City council representing the people of Western Park. Cole, a former member of OBV’s Parliamentary Shadowing Scheme won his place in local government with over 1000 votes. He cites a strong presence in the fight for increased political literacy in the Afro-Caribbean community in Leicester, and participation in the scheme as the inspiration that led him to stand for election.

Orlanzo is a co-founder of the Clarion Group, a Leicester based organisation which aims to address the absence of African-Caribbeans from local politics. They hope that their campaign will encourage individuals to seek to become councillors and also get involved in other areas of governance.

Orlanzo said,

"Having joined the OBV scheme I've come to realise how much can be done locally if we become organised in the community."

George Orlanza Cole took part in the 2010-11 Parliamentary Shadowing Scheme, and was mentored by Health Minister Diane Abbott over the course of 6 months.

George Cole's mentor on the OBV scheme, Diane Abbott MP commented on his election saying;

"Really thrilled to hear that he got elected to the council. He shadowed me in Parliament and I was very impressed by him. I wish him the very best of luck."

Speaking about George Cole’s win today OBV Director Simon Woolley said:

“Another great victory as George Cole wins in Leicester, he's one of the few people of African descent, if not only, to now sit on the council. We're proud that he's come from one of the OBV programmes and we're sure that he will do a fine job for the city of Leicester.”

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Well done Orlanzo I wish you much success, this is a big step forward in African Americans in the UK. Much love brother.


Hi there George, summer 2011 seems a long time ago, so much has happened. Hope you are enjoying the post as you become increasingly familiar with the role of Local Councillor. A good achievement, with challenges ahead which I know you will meet with good grace and dignity. Keep up the good work.