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House of Commons launches programme to find next generation of BAME leaders

13 June 2019


The House of Commons has committed to increasing the representation of BAME (Black, Asian and Ethnic-Minority) people within its workforce and in Parliament more widely. Through a comprehensive Diversity and Inclusion Strategy it aims to tackle under-representation at senior levels in the House of Commons by 2022.

As part of the strategy, it has committed to back the Pathway to Success Leadership and Development programme pilot, a ground-breaking new initiative working to equip BAME individuals with the tools and knowledge required to stand for political office. Participants will be selected based on their proven leadership skills and will undertake a week of intensive coaching to build their confidence and familiarity with political settings.

The programme aims to send out the message that diverse leadership is essential in politics and civil society, while creating a thriving parliamentary democracy.

Run by the UK Parliament and Operation Black Vote (OBV) in collaboration with Oxford University's Magdalen College and Blavatnik School of Government and  Lloyds Banking Group, the programme will offer participants first-hand experience of Parliament and an enhanced understanding of the political landscape, as well as the skills take their first step towards a career in frontline politics.

OBV alumni Shadow Minister for the Treasury Clive Lewis MP said:
“What a fantastic partnership OBV has assembled. Having had the privilege to be on an OBV programme myself, I know how vital their work is in ensuring people from BAME backgrounds are equipped with the same tools and knowledge to stand for political office. There are still too many institutional barriers that continue to lock out talent, and this work will equip our next generation of leaders from BAME communities to fulfil their true leadership potential and enhance our local and national institutions.”
Participants will stay in Magdalen College, Oxford for a week and will take a trip to London to visit the Houses of Parliament. The Blavatnik School of Government has developed a comprehensive programme to build an in-depth understanding of major political, civic and business ideas through discussion, group activities and input sessions, including:

  • Political philosophy, law and ethics
  • Understanding, making and driving policy
  • Understanding Parliament
  • The media and message framing
  • Understanding communities
  • Understanding the business world
  • The power of the collective and networks
  • Practical implementation
  • The power of storytelling
  • Ethics and decision-making

Members of Parliament across all parties will be involved to act as panel members, alongside contributors from the Civil Service, business and even the sporting world who can share their experiences, journeys and insights.

For more information about the Pathway to Success Leadership Development Programme and for further information on how to apply, visit the OBV website.

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