The work of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Hate Crime is led by the following officers:
Sarah Owen MP – Chair
Sarah Owen is a Labour Party Politician. In 2019, she was elected the Member of Parliament for Luton North. Sarah is the first Labour MP of East Asian descent and the first female MP of Chinese descent.
Born and raised in Hastings, Sarah worked as a care worker for the NHS, a political assistant for Brighton and Hove City Council and a London Fire Brigade employee in the emergency planning department prior to becoming an MP. Sarah currently sits on the Health and Social Care Committee and is also the Vice Chair of the APPG on Adult Social Care.
Lord Sheikh of Cornhill – Co Chair
Lord Sheikh is a Conservative Party politician and life peer. Born in Kenya and raised in Uganda. He is the Chairman of Macmillan Sheikh PLC, an insurance broking and underwriting agency organisation, and is also the Chairman of Iqra Ethical PLC and two property companies. He was previously the chairman and Chief Executive of Camberford Law PLC. He founded the Conservative Muslim Forum in 2005 and was its Chairman for several years, now serving as President of the Forum.
In 2006, Lord Sheikh was elevated to the House of Lords as a Life Peer, taking the title of Baron Sheikh of Cornhill in the City of London. He has founded and funds a registered charity, The Sheikh Abdullah Foundation, in memory of his father. The Foundation recognises and rewards talented young people. He has spoken in the House of Lords on various topics, including the charity sector, trade, and organ donation
Kirsten Oswald MP – Vice Chair
Kirsten is the Scottish National Party MP. She was elected the Member of Parliament for East Renfrewshire in 2019, she had previously represented East Renfrewshire between 2015 – 2017. Prior to entering politics, Kirsten was the head of human resources at South Lanarkshire College in East Kilbride for 12 years.
She currently undertakes the roles of Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Northern Ireland), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Wales), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Work, Pensions and Inclusion) and SNP Deputy West Minister Leader.
Marsha De Cordova MP – Vice Chair
Marsha De Cordova is a Labour Party Politician. She was elected the Member of Parliament for Battersea in 2017. She currently undertakes the role of Shadow Secretary for Women and Equalities. Between 2014 and 2018, Marsha served as a Councillor on Lambeth Council. Marsha sits on a number of APPGs including the APPG for Disability and the APPG for Human Rights.
She studied Law and European Policy Studies at the London South Bank University. After graduating she worked at a number of charities including Action for Blind People before founding the charity South East London Vision in 2014. Marsha was also the engagement and advocacy director at the charity, Thomas Pocklington Trust.
Elliot Colburn MP – Vice Chair
Elliot Colburn is a member of the Conservative Party. He was elected the Member of Parliament for Carshalton and Wallington in 2019.
Elliot studied politics at Aberystwyth University, and has worked as a public affairs officer in the NHS prior to entering Parliament. As well as his Parliamentary duties, Elliot continues to be a councillor on the Sutton Council. Colburn is a member of several APPGs including the APPG for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of which he is Vice Chair.
Afzal Khan MP – Vice Chair
Afzal Khan was the first Asian Lord Mayor of Manchester City Council in 2005. He became an MEP for the North-West region in 2014 but following the death of Gerald Kaufman MP in 2017 he was selected to stand for Labour to defend the seat of Manchester Gorton.
Afzal served as Shadow Minister for Immigration (2017-2019) and Shadow Foreign Office Minister (2019-2020). A former police officer, he currently undertakes the role of Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons. He is also a Vice Chair of several All-Party Parliamentary Groups, including on British Muslims, Adult Social Care, Pakistan, Hajj and Umrah, Greater Manchester, and Poverty.
Caroline Lucas MP
Caroline Lucas is a Green Party politician. After gaining a First-Class BA in English Literature at the University of Exeter in 1983, she won a scholarship to the University of Kansas. She then gained a Diploma of Journalism before studying for a PhD in English from the University of Exeter. During her university years, she went on many trips to the Women’s Peace Camp at Greenham Common and to the Molesworth peace camp. She was involved with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Snowball Campaign, which campaigned against US military bases in the UK. In 1989, Lucas began working as a Press Officer for Oxfam, later working for the charity in other roles until 1999.
Lucas joined the Green Party in 1986, having been inspired by Jonathon Porritt’s book ‘Seeing Green’. She acted as the Party’s National Press Officer between 1987 and 1989 and Co-Chair between 1989 and 1990. When the Green Party separated into constituent parts in 1990, she joined the Green Party of England and Wales and was their General Election speaker from 1991. Lucas’ first electoral success came when she gained the Green Party’s second UK council seat, on Oxfordshire County Council, which she then held between 1993 and 1997.
Lucas was elected as an MEP for South East England in 1999. She was subsequently re-elected in 2004 and 2009. She was elected as the Green Party’s first leader in 2008. In 2010, she was elected as the Green Party’s first ever MP, representing Brighton Pavilion.
Tanmanjeet Sing Dhesi MP
Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi is a Labour Party politician. He studied for a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics with Management from University College London. He then studied Applied Statistics at Keble College, Oxford, and has a Master of Philosophy in the history and politics of South Asia from Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. He then worked in his family’s construction business.
In 2007 he was elected as a Labour councillor. He has also been the Mayor of Gravesham. In 2017, he was elected the Member of Parliament for Slough, making him Britain’s first turbaned Sikh MP. He gave his maiden speech in July 2017. He currently undertakes the role of Shadow Minister (Transport).
Louise Haigh MP
Louise Haigh is a Labour Party politician. After studying Politics at the University of Nottingham, she worked for a council youth service between 2006 and 2008. She then started working in Parliament, acting as the co-ordinator of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on International Corporate Responsibility. She was also a Unite shop steward and special constable during this time. In 2012, she started working for Aviva as a Public Policy Manager, ensuring corporate governance and responsible investment policy.
She was elected as the Member of Parliament for Sheffield Heeley in 2015. A February 2016 study found her to be the “hardest working” of the new MPs who had been elected in 2015. Louise currently undertakes the role of Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
Martyn Day MP
Martyn Day is a Scottish National Party politician. Before entering politics, he worked as a personal banking manager in the Bank of Scotland. In 2015, he was elected Member of Parliament for Linlithgow and East Falkirk.
In 1999, he was elected to West Lothian Council at the Scottish local elections and spent sixteen years as a full-time councillor. Martyn currently undertakes the role of Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Public Health and Primary Care).
Liz Saville-Roberts MP
Liz Saville-Roberts is the Plaid Cymru MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd. She has been the Member of Parliament for this constituency since May 2015. She currently undertakes the roles of Shadow PC Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Women and Equalities), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Justice), Plaid Cymru Westminster Leader, Shadow PC Spokesperson (Business Energy and Industrial Strategy) and Shadow PC Spokesperson (Attorney General).
Jack Dromey MP
Jack Dromey has been the Labour MP for Birmingham, Erdington since 2010. He currently undertakes the role of Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Pensions). He was on the Executive of the National Council for Civil Liberties for ten years. Jack has a long history of standing up for the rights of those people who have been persecuted and against the groups that carry out such persecution (e.g. the Far-Right). He has joined the APPG to help in the battle against hate crime in the UK.
Simon Fell MP
Simon Fell is a Conservative MP. In 2019 he was elected the Member of Parliament for Barrow and Furness and he is currently a member of the Home Affairs Committee.
Simon graduated from the University of Warwick with Honours in English Literature. Since 2009, he has been a member of the British Council’s TN2020 network of future leaders. Prior to becoming an MP, he worked in telecoms, helped run two charities, and also ran his own communications business for a number of years.
Christine Jardine MP
Christine Jardine is the Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West and has been since 2017. She currently undertakes the role of Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Trade) and Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Treasury).
Before entering politics, Christine was an Edinburgh based journalist and broadcaster. Christine also taught both post and undergraduate students at the University of the West of Scotland, having run the postgraduate practical journalism course at the Scottish Centre for Journalism Studies for 5 years.
Layla Moran MP
Layla is a member of the Liberal Democrats. In 2017 she was elected a Member of Parliament for Oxford West and Abingdon. She currently undertakes the role of Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), and Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Development).
Before entering Parliament, Layla was a Physics and Maths teacher by profession with over ten years’ experience and was the youngest Head of Year in her school’s history and went on to lead curriculum development.
Nadia Whittome MP
Nadia Whittome is a Labour MP. In 2019 she was elected a Member of Parliament for Nottingham East. Elected at the age of 23, she was the youngest MP and therefore gained the unofficial title of “Baby of the House”.
Prior to being elected to Parliament, Nadia was a hate crime worker and worked as a carer. She currently sits on the Environmental Audit Committee.
Colum Eastwood MP
Colum Eastwood is the leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party. In 2019, he was elected a Member of Parliament for Foyle.
Colum was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2011 and was the party’s representative on the committee of the Office of First Minister and deputy First Minister. He has also sat on the Northern Ireland Assembly’s environment committee and was appointed to the post of Assembly Private Secretary to the Minister of the Environment Alex Attwood in 2010.Colum was elected Leader of the SDLP in November 2015.
Kate Green MP
Kate Green is a Labour Party Politician. She represents Stretford and Urmston and was first elected a Member of Parliament in 2010. She currently undertakes the role of Shadow Secretary of State for Education.
Prior to her election, Kate was Chief Executive of the Child Poverty Action Group, and before that Director of the National Council for One Parent Families (now Gingerbread). She is a long-standing advocate for families and children, and campaigner against poverty and inequality. She served as a magistrate for 16 years and takes a particular interest in the experience of women in the penal system, and how best to rehabilitate them to prevent reoffending.
Sarah Jones MP
Sarah is a member of the Labour Party and was first elected a Member of Parliament for Croydon Central in 2017. She currently serves as the Shadow Minister for Policing and the Fire Service.
Since becoming an MP, Sarah has set up and led the national cross-party campaign against knife crime and has previously held the position of Labour’s Shadow Housing Minister – with responsibilities including social housing, private renting and response to the Grenfell disaster. Sarah began her career working for Labour MP and Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam. A former senior civil servant, Sarah was a member of the top team delivering the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games. She has also held various senior roles within the NHS and as Head of Campaigns at the housing charity Shelter.
Tracy Brabin MP
Tracy Brabin is a Labour Co-operative politician. In 2016 she was elected the Member of Parliament for Batley and Spen. Tracy was appointed Shadow Minister for Early Years in July 2017, a role she held for more than two years before being named Shadow Secretary of State for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in January 2020. In April 2020, Tracy was appointed as Shadow Minister for Cultural Industries.
Prior to becoming an MP, Tracy was an actor and writer in addition to being a Labour Party and a trade union activist.
Preet Kaur Gill MP
Preet Kaur Gill is a Labour Co-Operative politician. Preet Kaur Gill graduated from the University of East London with a First-Class BSc in Sociology and Social Work, before working with children in India and as a social worker on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2012, she was elected as a councillor for Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, serving as the Cabinet Member for Public Health and Protection.
In 2017, she was elected the Member of Parliament for Birmingham Edgbaston. She is the first female British Sikh MP. She currently undertakes the role of Shadow Secretary of State for International Development.
Sir Peter Bottomley MP
Sir Peter Bottomley is a Conservative Party politician. After reading Economics at Trinity College, Cambridge, he became a lorry driver and joined the Transport and General Workers Union, before moving to industrial sales and industrial relations. In the 1970s he co-founded the Neighbourhood Council in South Lambeth.
He has been a Member of Parliament since 1975 and has represented the Worthing West constituency since 1997. Between 1978 and 1980, he was President of the Conservative Trade Unionists. He was also a trustee of Christian Aid between 1978 and 1984. He is a member of the Ecclesiastical Committee and has been appointed the Parliamentary Warden at St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster. He has led the United Kingdom delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). He is vice chair of WATCH, Women and the Church, supporting full equal acceptance of women in the church.
Having been a backbencher for nine years, in 1984, Margaret Thatcher appointed him as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Employment, before he became the Minister of Roads and Traffic in 1986. He has been a backbencher since 1990. He has supported a range of causes in this time, including assisting British pensioners overseas and those suffering from haemophilia. In 2011, he was in more Parliamentary groups than any other MP.
Lord Pearson of Rannoch
Lord Pearson of Rannoch is a non-affiliated Life Peer who has sat in the House of Lords since 1990.
In 1984, Lord Pearson established the Rannoch Charitable Trust of which he remains a trustee. The trust helped to fund many refugees escaping from the Soviet Union. Prior to entering politics, Lord Pearson worked in the insurance industry and has done extensive work and fundraising on the issue of learning disabilities.