Mr Speaker, Rt Hon John Bercow announced the inaugural MPs of the Year, for those MPs who have represented and work well with deprived and minority communities across the country.
Announcing the winners from the State Rooms, in the Speaker’s House, The Rt Hon John Bercow MP said: “I wish to congratulate the Patchwork Foundation for all their excellent work over the past year in encouraging the positive integration of deprived and minority communities into British political society. I also congratulate all the Members of Parliament on their nominations as MP of the Year.”
Conservative MP of the Year Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP said: “It is a real pleasure to be given this award. I believe we have to do as much as possible to involve young people from minority backgrounds in the political process and other parts of public life.”
Martyn Lewis CBE, Chairman of the NCVO Trustee Board, Founder of YouthNet, former BBC/ITV television journalist and a Patron of the Patchwork Foundation who compered the award’s ceremony said: “I am delighted to be involved in a ceremony that acknowledges and honours the great work that many MPs are doing to help minority and deprived communities across the country. It was particularly good to see so many being nominated, and highlighting those who have done most in this important area of national life will hopefully encourage others to follow suit.”
Rabbi Bhatti who nominated Mr Grayling said: “Chris Grayling is not only a political figure but also a very inspirational one. His work and dedication to get more young people and especially those from deprived backgrounds into Politics is outstanding and over the years has given much hope to the younger generation including myself. I think Conservative MP of the Year is a well deserved award to mark the exceptional works of such an exemplary role model.”
Patchwork Foundation’s Patrons: Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE, Martyn Lewis CBE & John O’Brien.
Through the MP of the Year Awards, The Patchwork Foundation highlights and acknowledges those MPs – nominated by individuals and grassroots community organisations, and subsequently picked by an independent panel of judges – that have excelled in representing such communities. From our understanding, this is the first time an MP of the Year Award has been created to acknowledge the great work done by MPs in working with deprived and minority communities.
There have been over 30 MPs nominated from across the country including MPs from different faith groups and ethnic backgrounds. The MPs are judged by 5 key criteria:
1. Deprived communities (including white working class communities)
2. Faith communities
3. Ethnic communities
4. Sexual Orientation communities
5. Other communities traditionally excluded by the political process
The Patchwork Foundation launched the MP of the Year Awards in association with Mosaic Associates, the Three Faiths Forum and UpRising earlier this year. Hosted by the Patchwork Foundation’s Patron, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, the launch included contributions from key leaders from organisations working with deprived and minority communities including Shabir Randeree CBE (Chair, Mosaic Associates), Simon Woolley (Founder, Operation Black Vote), Andrea Cooper (Director, UpRising), Daniella Shaw-Gabay (Policy and Public Affairs Manager, Three Faiths Forum) and Neil Jameson (Executive Director, Citizens UK), as well as key political figures including Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP (Chair, Home Affairs Committee, Labour), Alok Sharma MP (Vice-chair, BME Communities, Conservative), Rt Hon Alistair Carmichael MP (Chief Whip, Liberal Democrats).
Judges: John O’Brien (Patron, Patchwork Foundation), Shabir Randeree CBE (Chair, Mosaic Associates), Simon Woolley (Founder, Operation Black Vote), Andrea Cooper (Director, UpRising), Daniella Shaw-Gabay (Policy and Public Affairs Manager, Three Faiths Forum), Jonathan Freeman (National Director, HRH Prince of Wales’ Mosaic) and Sophie Stephens (Senior Organiser, Citizens UK).
Category: Conservative MP of the Year
Winner: Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP
Runner Up: Sir Tony Baldry MP
Nominations: Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP, Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, Rt Hon David Davis MP, Rt Hon David Jones MP, Rt Hon Dominic Grieve MP, Richard Ottaway MP & Sir Tony Baldry MP