Vice President Election: Elect a VP for inclusion, Elect Marisha Ray

Editor’s Note: Liberal Democrat Voice has invited all six candidates for Vice President to submit an article in support of their candidacy. They are allowed to include two photos and video content. You can find out more details about the candidates and election, including the hustings tonight (Wednesday 8 December), here. Votes must be cast by 12 pm on Friday 10th December. 

This article is by Marisha Ray

Are you a Liberal Democrat member? There was never a better time to join than now, just before the North Shropshire by-election.

If you are, please vote in the election for a Vice President for minority communities and give me, Marisha Ray, your first preference?

I work to end the exclusion of people from all sorts of minority communities from many areas of UK life. We need your contribution to tackling this within our communities and also within our party.

Simply being from a minority community, and I am, does not make a person able to tackle these issues.

A person who has the grit to tackle these issues as a private individual, which I have, and a person who has successfully worked on equalities in other sectors has the experience to tackle the issues here.

I successfully campaigned for the Alderdice inquiry on barriers to people from minority communities in the party and worked at board level in the NHS and local government on this in one of the UK’s most diverse areas.

Starting young, I have worked on board level governance for over three decades, and have stood as a candidate for parliament three times, including at a by-election, and the London Assembly also three times including this year. For eight years, I was a leading councillor in the UK’s fastest improving council reaching out to many communities in an area with great diversity, in addition to being a party returning officer for almost two decades, and a member of the Federal Policy Committee advising on diversity.

Outside the party, my career spans many sectors from board level governance of universities, scholarships, hospitals, schools, a pension fund, policy making, local government and a theatre to scientific research in academia and industry, IT consultancy and supply chain strategy and design.

I have been interviewed live on television news, appeared on the news on three national networks in addition to regional television news in two regions on a total of three networks as well as in the national and local press. My media debut took place aged 9: I phoned LBC, won a competition: the prize – to start a cross country cycling race on live radio and have breakfast in Belsize Park at 5am!  Aged 17, at school, I was interviewed by the national press and later when awarded an Entente Cordiale Scholarship to study in France, I was interviewed by the Higher in the garden of the British Embassy in Paris. My first hustings speech, that year, was in French.

Equalities and inclusion or discrimination and exclusion touch on every area of our existence. To succeed it is essential to have varied experience.

To vote you either need to find an email from Mike Dixon from [email protected] on 12th Nov or now send an email to [email protected] to request your ballot paper. With it you will find manifestos with full information about candidates.


* Marisha Ray is a Liberal Democrat London Assembly Candidate for the Barnet and Camden constituency; she was a London Assembly London wide list candidate in 2012 and 2016, a parliamentary candidate in a 2012 by-election, and the 2015 and 2017 General Elections.

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