BAME Tory MPs Urged To Mentor People From Their Backgrounds To Boost Diversity In Westminster'

Arj Singh
·2-min read

Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) Tory politicians should step up to create a group to help people from their backgrounds get into politics and boost diversity in Westminster, a former special adviser has said.

Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, who was health secretary Matt Hancock’s aide, made the call in an interview with HuffPost UK in which he highlighted the lack of diversity in Westminster by revealing he was regularly confused with New Statesman political editor Stephen Bush.

On one occasion, an MP even delivered an attack briefing to him thinking he was Bush, who is also mixed-race.

Njoku-Goodwin told the Commons People podcast that Tory politicians should set up a body along the lines of Theresa May’s Women2Win to boost diversity in Westminster, and perhaps avoid such embarrassing occasions in future.

Like May’s organisation, it could help people who don’t have the “connections, networks and experience” and would benefit from someone mentoring them who “had gone through what they’d gone through”.

Njoku-Goodwin is now the chief executive of UK Music, which this week published a 10-point plan to boost diversity in the music industry.

The report highlights the importance that people from BAME backgrounds place on having mentors to help them get into certain industries.

And Njoku-Goodwin argued that this could be applied to Westminster, and the Tory Party in particular, with Women2Win as a blueprint.

The group was co-founded in 2005 by the former PM – then an opposition frontbencher – when there were just 17 Conservative women MPs.

Now after 15 years and four elections there are 87 female Tories, which the group still acknowledges is “not enough”.

Meanwhile, there are 65 BAME MPs in parliament, but only 22 of them are Conservative, despite the party holding more than half of all seats in the Commons.

Njoku-Goodwin revealed his experience of being mixed up with Bush for the first time on HuffPost UK’s Commons People podcast.

Former special adviser and UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin.
Former special adviser and UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin.

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