Colour of Power report: who are the new BAME figures in top UK jobs?

This year’s Colour of Power report includes a host of new black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) politicians, business leaders and cultural figures. From football managers to media leaders and charity bosses, the number of minority ethnic figures in prominent positions has more than doubled in four years. Here are some of 2021’s intake:

Anderson made history when she was chosen as the UK’s first directly elected black female mayor and the first woman to lead the city of Liverpool, after serving as a councillor for the Princes Park ward for two years.

After leaving school with no qualifications, she went abroad to work in hotels before returning to the UK to become an administrator. Active in the Transport and General Workers’ Union, she held several positions within the BAME structures, women’s and young members forums as well as being a member of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) race relations committee.

The business secretary is the first black British Tory to run a government department. Of Ghanaian heritage, he was born in Waltham Forest, east London, and was first elected as the Conservative MP for Spelthorne in 2010. He has also served as minister of state for business, energy and clean growth and undersecretary of state for exiting the European Union.

In January 2020, Khalaf took the helm at the Financial Times, becoming the first female editor in its 131-year history. The British-Lebanese journalist began her career as a staff writer for Forbes magazine in New York, before moving across to the FT in 1995. She worked in a number of different roles at the paper including north Africa correspondent, Middle East correspondent, Middle East editor and foreign editor.

Since 2019, Sunak has served as chancellor of the exchequer, having first entered the cabinet in 2019 as chief secretary to the Treasury. He has also served as parliamentary undersecretary of state for local government. He was first elected as the Conservative MP for Richmond, North Yorkshire, in 2015.

Considered one of the best footballers of his generation, Vieira was chosen to lead the Premier League club Crystal Palace earlier this year, succeeding Roy Hodgson. The French World Cup winner, who was born in Senegal, began his career at Cannes in 1994 and played for a number of top clubs during his career, including Arsenal, Inter Milan and Manchester City.

The attorney general has been MP for Fareham in Hampshire since 2015. The former barrister of Indian origin has also chaired the European Research Group (ERG). She is the second female attorney general and the first Conservative female attorney general.

The new manager of Tottenham Hotspur, known simply as Nuno, played as a goalkeeper and first made a name for himself in Spain, playing for three teams in five years. He later returned to Portugal to represent Porto, and also played professionally in Russia; he was part of the Portuguese squad at Euro 2008. He started his coaching career at the Greek club Panathinaikos.

Festus was elected as police and crime Commissioner for bedfordshire in Ma. Having lived in Bedfordshire for 10 years, he completed 400 hours of service as a special constable with Bedfordshire police, including frontline response duties as an officer, before being given the PCC job. He is also a director on the board of a YMCA and former parish councillor.

The NASUWT general secretary was born in Walsall to parents who had emigrated from Jamaica. The former university lecturer began working for the union, which represents schoolteachers, in 1998. In 2010 he became the deputy general secretary. From 2017, he also served on the general council of the TUC.

Lady Shafik, an Egyptian-born British-American economist, is the director of the London School of Economics. Shafik previously served as the deputy governor of the Bank of England. By the age of 36, she had become the youngest vice-president of the World Bank. She was made a dame in the Queen’s birthday honours list in 2015. In 2020 Minouche was made a cross-bench peer in the House of Lords.

The chief executive of Oxfam GB, Sriskandarajah is a former secretary general of Civicus, a global alliance of civil society organisations. Prior to that he was director general of the Royal Commonwealth Society – the youngest and first non-British person to head the organisation. Born in Sri Lanka, Sriskandarajah – known as Danny – grew up in Australia and Papua New Guinea, before moving to the UK in 1998. He has been a British citizen for almost 10 years.

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