Liberal Democrats Leadership Programme
This month Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg announced the participants in the Liberal Democrat Leadership Programme. The Leadership Programme is intended to support future Parliamentary candidates from under-represented backgrounds through training, mentoring, shadowing opportunities and more.
More than two-thirds of participants are female and a third are from BME backgrounds. A significant number of participants are disabled, openly LGBT, under 30 years old and/or from a lower socio-economic background.
The Leadership Programme is now ready to start changing the face of the Liberal Democrats. If we want to represent all of the country then we must have all of the country represented in us. That is why the Leadership Programme has sought out talented Liberal Democrats from across the country to ensure that over the coming years we will together change the makeup of the party
I know this excellent Leadership Programme will support them as they seek selection for a seat all the way until they sit in the House of Commons. I am proud to have met them all this weekend and I know we will be hearing a lot more from them in the months and years to come.
OBV would like to congratulate all the candidates on the programme. We are particularly pleased with the inclusion of four candidates who have worked closely with OBV: Anuja Prashar – current OBV MP Shadowing candidate, Waliur Rahman a graduate of the OBV Councillor Shadowing Scheme, and Abdul Malik and Karen Hamilton who were mentors for the OBV Cllr Shadowing Scheme.
Anuja Prashar who is currently on OBV’s MP Shadowing Scheme has recently stood as a candidate in a local by-election. She is delighted to take part in the Party’s Leadership programme saying,
The programme is vigorously assessed, so I was thrilled to be selected. It is recognized all over the country and being a candidate on it means I have proven I have the necessary skills for making a meaningful difference.
Anuja also acknowledges that OBV have played a great part towards the success.
My OBV MP Shadowing Scheme mentor was Baroness Ross Scott and she gave me great confidence and encouragement throughout the process.
Waliur Rahman, a graduate of the OBV’s Councillor Shadowing Scheme, stood in a council said:
Through OBV I was given an insight to politics and since then I have grown as a person and have increased my credibility in the Party, and now I am an approved PPC and delighted to take part in the prestigious Liberal Democrats Leadership Programme.
For me, it wouldn’t happened if not for OBV
We are very proud to see all four candidates selected for the Liberal Democrats Leadership Programme and we wish them all the best of luck. For too long British politics and Westminster has been too male, stale and pale. It is clear that Britain lacks BME politicians and there are too few people who can represent BME communities in the way it is deserved. The Leadership Programme is not only the step forward of recognizing this problem, but also taking a real action to deal with the lack of representation within Liberal Democrats Party.