Cllr Hina Bokhari: Let’s help her make history


It’s only 6 months since Ms Hina Bokhari was first elected a councillor in Merton, but for anyone that knows her the back story has been many years in the making. As a prominent figure once told me, ‘civic duty and confronting inequality is firmly in the Bokhari family DNA.

In the run up to the election the shy but strong willed Bokhari quickly realised that front line politics is a ‘blood sport’. Opposition party activists targeted her as a possible weak link and, according to her 100 days in office recollection she was personally heckled and hounded on social media.

She concludes, ‘I had to toughen up and learn not to take things personal and keep with my beliefs that I can make a difference.’

After making the breakthrough Bokhari has thrown herself into public life; meetings with communities group, transport directors and building her Lib dem base.

She’s impressed many and is now being talked about as a potential London Assembly member for the Lib Dems.

I think they are right to consider rising talented stars. If selected by the London Lib Dem group she could make history by being the first BME Lib Dem elected Assembly member to GLA.

About a year ago I had a long public conversation with Lib Dem leader Vince Cable at his home in Twickenham. There he told me: "Simon, we have to do much more to be truly and inclusive representative party, particularly here in the London. I promise you this, you show me BME talent and we’ll support them."

Well Vince, and the Lib Dem London party you asked for dynamic BME individuals coming into your party, Hina Bokhari for one, deserves your support.

If Ms Bokhari does get the London Lib Dem nomination she will no doubt inspire many particularly young Asian women to get involved in local and regional politics, and she’ll be an even greater asset to the party, as well, of course as making history.

Good luck Hina !

Simon Woolley