Over the last five years, I have seen Patchwork grow from strength to strength. It’s work with underrepresented communities, especially young people, is not only important to get young people involved in our democracy, but has also completely changed so many people’s lives.
Mr Speaker, Rt Hon John Bercow MP and Patron of the Patchwork Foundation announced the winners of the MP of the Year Awards 2016 kindly sponsored by KPMG at Speakers House on 2nd November 2016, for those MPs who have represented and work well with underrepresented, deprived and minority communities across the country.
The top three awards this year went to Rt Hon Justine Greening for Overall MP of the Year 2016, Mhairi Black for Overall Newcomer MP of the Year Award 2016 and the late Jo Cox MP for Overall People’s Choice MP for Year 2016.
Rt Hon Justine Greening MP said: “I am honoured to have won the MP of the Year Award. The Patchwork Foundation does a fantastic job of getting young people involved in our democracy and political process, with its workshops and mentoring. That’s all vital if we’re going to have a political system that works for everyone and is inclusive. Its been great to be involved as an MP and locally I do my best to work with our whole community on the issues that matter to all of us.”
Mhairi Black MP said: “I am delighted that the Patchwork Foundation have given me this honour. Given what the Patchwork Foundation stands for – highlighting and celebrating engagement with underrepresented communities – it is a particularly wonderful award to receive. The fact that this award was nominated by the public is very heart-warming, and I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all who nominated me.”
Brendan Cox, Husband of Jo Cox said: ‘Jo dedicated her life to public service – from her work as an aid worker through to an MP. She actively encouraged others, especially women, to step forward and would have been humbled to have been recognised in this way’
Melanie Dawes CB winner of the Civil Servant of the Year said: “I am honoured to accept this award from the Patchwork Foundation. I’ve seen for myself how their work gives people from a range of backgrounds incredible opportunities to get involved in government and public life. I’ve been very impressed by the young leaders I have met through Patchwork’s Masterclasses, and I look forward to working with them again. As we aim to create an ever-more diverse Civil Service that truly represents modern Britain, the work of organisations like Patchwork is increasingly important, and I’m proud to support them.”
The Prime Minister Rt Hon Thresa May MP said: ‘I would like to congratulate the winners of tonight’s awards – MPs who are willing to go the extra mile to make politics accessible, relevant and open to all. My driving mission in politics is to make this a country that works for everyone – where you can rise to the top no matter who you are and where you are from. At the moment, there are too many professions where those from minority and disadvantaged backgrounds are underrepresented. Although we have made huge strides, politics is still one of those professions. We need to change that. After all, Parliament should reflect the population we seek to represent. People shouldn’t see Westminster as remote but as something in which they can play a part. That is what the Patchwork Foundation sets out to achieve. Patchwork graduates are now working in some of our top government departments, from the Ministry of Defence to the Cabinet Office. They are on the campaign trail where Patchworkers have been hard at work on everything from the EU referendum to the London Mayoral elections. And it was a pleasure to host a group from The Patchwork Foundation at our recent party conference in Birmingham, proving that young people from any background can be at the heart of British politics.’
Siddiq Musa, KPMG Partner said: “We are delighted to sponsor these Patchwork Awards for the third year encouraging under represented communities to connect with the political process and celebrating those MPs from across the political divide who have really made a difference to inclusion. The work done by their volunteers and the time they commit will hopefully inspire young people in all communities to fulfil their true potential. How organisations work with, and within, their local communities is a critical part of inspiring young people. That’s why KPMG pioneered a School Leaver Programme, a Business Support Academy and also launched our 360 degree apprenticeship programme. We have committed ourselves to target ranges spanning across the four areas of gender, ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation. Everyone has the right to feel safe from discrimination and bring their whole self to work, into Parliament or civic life so that they can fulfil their own potential and make a difference to business, our communities and to people’s lives and opportunities.”
Messages of support:
Theresa May, Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party: https://youtu.be/mudGMPvrcRk
Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party: https://youtu.be/kjs4DV32bvY
Nicola Strurgeon MSP, Leader of the SNP: https://youtu.be/YyIf_IpTQPo
Tim Farron MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats: https://youtu.be/8FqTfday6gE
Caroline Lucas MP, Leader of the Green Party: https://youtu.be/DpHMrlKp8CA
Leanne Wood AM, Leader of Plaid Cymru: https://youtu.be/sPyJyY982YE
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.
There have been over 60 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. LGBT+ community|
|5. Other communities traditionally excluded by the political process|
Civil Servant of the Year Award – Melanie Dawes
Award – Newcomer People’s Choice – Jess Phillips MP
Award – Newcomer SNP MP of the Year – Kirsty Blackman MP
Award – Other Parties MP of the Year – Norman Lamb MP
Award – Other Parties People’s Choice – Angus Robertson MP
Award – Newcomer Labour MP of the Year – Stephen Kinnock MP
Award – Labour MP of the Year – David Lammy MP
Award – Labour People’s Choice – Dawn Butler MP
Award – Newcomer Conservative MP of the Year – Heidi Allen MP
Award – Conservative MP of the Year Award – Greg Clark MP
Award – Conservative People’s Choice – Amber Rudd MP
Overall People’s Choice Award – Jo Cox MP
Overall Newcomer MP of the Year Award – Mhairi Black MP
Overall MP of the Year – Rt Hon Justine Greening MP
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