Mr Speaker, Rt Hon John Bercow MP and Patron of the Patchwork Foundation announced the winners of the MP of the Year Awards 2016 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.
Heidi Allen MP said: “I am deeply honoured to have won Patchwork Foundation’s Conservative Newcomer MP of the Year award. I came into politics simply because I thought I could help give a voice to those without one. I love what I do, so it is unexpected and humbling to have been given this award.”
Prime Minister Rt Hon Theresa 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. I would like to congratulate Heidi for winning the Conservative Newcomer MP of the Year Award. 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.”
Video message from Theresa May, Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party: https://youtu.be/mudGMPvrcRk