Election diversity – as if by magic

The Conservative Government has called a General Election for 8 June 2017 after its leader Ms May repeatedly said she would not do so.

We have responded with the truncated General Election process to ensure a full slate of candidates are in place by June 2017.  This has seen candidates up and down the country engaged with internal applications and shortlisting processes in a bid to become the PPC candidates for this election.

As if by magic, we may well see our biggest ever selection of visible ethnic minority candidates making it to PPC status – fulfilling a personal pledge of our Leader Tim Farron, who openly seeks diversity for both internal and external political positions.

Mr Farron has frequently articulated the importance of diversity and our party’s credibility.  No doubt he will be pleased with the current wave of candidates being announced as PPC  candidates who are also known as ethnic minorities.

So far we have in first name alphabetical order: Alexander Cunliffe for Ruislip Northwood and Pinner, London; Anita Day for Grantham and Stamford; Anita Prabhakar for Mansfield;  Amna Ahmad for Sutton and Cheam, London; Brian Haley for Tottenham, London; Dave Ravel for Hackney South, London; Dawud Islam for Middlesbrough; Gitanjali Gordon for South Shields; Glanville Williams for East Ham, London; Hina Malik for Feltham and Heston;  Humaira Sanders for Ealing North, London; Irfan Ahmed for Blackburn, Manchester; Joe Naitta for Derby South; Joyce Onstad for Hammersmith, Marisha Ray for Chipping Barnet, London; London; Michael Bukola for Camberwell and Peckham, London; Nigel Bakhai for Southhall; Rabi Martins for Luton North; Sarah Cheung Johnson for South Cambs; Suzanna Austin for Kettering; Tahir Maher for Milton Keynes South; Ukonu Obasi for Walthamstow, London; Zuffar Haq for Harborough Oadby and Wigston; and Zulfiqar Ali for Huddersfield.

As the list continues, many will look towards Canada’s 2015 election and the influence of diversity on the credibility of the winning party under the leadership of Justin Trudeau, who famously remarked: “I can assure you, I will take into account the nature of Canada and the desire of Canadians to see institutions and appointments across the government that reflect the diversity of Canada.”

Our leader is equally committed to diversity, evidenced in his political speeches, his support for All Women Short listing policy to address the lack of gender equality in winnable seats and his accolade from Patchwork Foundation in 2015 for the best MP on equality (Patchwork is an organization committed to encouraging greater engagement in politics from ethnic minorities).

As the only party navigating these choppy political waters, with a clear strategy on Brexit, it may well be that the Canadian diversity magic has fallen on the LibDems and has given us the most diverse slate of candidates for an election – ever!

* Teena Lashmore is the Vice Chair London Region Liberal Democrats and writes in a personal capacity.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Simon McGrath 28th Apr '17 - 10:13am

    You have missed out the next MP for Oxford West and Abingdon – Layla Moran


  • Lorenzo Cherin 28th Apr '17 - 6:35pm

    Teena, yes, this is so important !

    You and all who fought for these developments , and all of us who advocated and supported them, should be glad but not complacent, nor despondent ever.

    And remember in the previous election we had more ethnic minority candidates than any party !

  • Simon Banks 29th Apr '17 - 8:56am

    On the face of it, two of those seats are winnable.

  • CORRECTION: Sarah Cheung Johnson is not PPC for South Cambs, but she is one of our phenomenal County Council candidates. The South Cambridgeshire PPC is Susie van de Ven.

  • Christopher Clayton 29th Apr '17 - 11:45am

    Not the main point, I know, but people in Blackburn would surely be horrified to see that they were being described as if they were a part of Manchester! Let’s respect the diversity and identity of place also. Lancashire is not like London.

  • Ade Adeyemo standing in Solihull too…

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