Brexit legal challenger named most influential Black person in UK


Gina Miller, who won the landmark Brexit legal case over the UK government authority to trigger Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union without an Act of the UK Parliament, was named the UK’s most influential Black person by the Powerlist Foundation. The Powerlist, first published in 2006, comprises an annual list of the 100 most influential people of African or African-Caribbean heritage in Britain. The list is created by an independent panel of judges.

Miller received multiple death threats and considered leaving the UK when she was receiving threats of an acid attack that left her afraid to leave her home. The same month the Supreme Court released its holding, the Metropolitan police revealed they had issued eight “cease and desist” notice to people who had threatened Miller. Miller, upon learning she had received the honour stated:

To have somebody acknowledge me is extraordinarily kind and counters a lot of what I still get on daily basis.”

Along with Miller, there has been significant growth among females on the Powerlist with Black women accounting for nearly half of the top 100, with six being among the 10. Among the women recognized included Sharon White (#4), chief executive of Ofcom who has expressed criticism towards the lack of diversity among broadcasters and their staff. Other women in the top 10 included Laura Serrant, professor of nursing at Sheffield Hallam University who has extensive experience in health inequalities and was happy that the power list included a vast array of occupations and experiences.

The reveal of this Powerlist of the 100 most powerful Black people in Britain comes at a crucial time for BAME individuals in the UK to celebrate, while also recognizing that there is still work to be done. OBV recent project ‘The Colour of Power’ which revealed that Britain’s most powerful and influential people are 97% white and a recent Race Audit released this month by the government, shows that BAME individuals are continuing to face multiple roadblocks to prosper and grow in the UK society.

Zak Ott