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Politics, Law & Religion


Helen Grant MP


Conservative MP, Maidstone and T e Weald


As the MP for Maidstone and T e Weald in Kent Helen was elected at the 2010 general election, replacing the constituency’s previous incumbent, Ann Widdecombe. Her victory meant that she became the fi rst black female selected to defend a Tory seat and it also made her the Conservatives’ fi rst female black British MP. Helen, who was raised in Carlisle, has an extensive background in law. She obtained a law degree at the University of Hull, undertook solicitors’ fi nals at the College of Law in Guildford and qualifi ed as a solicitor in 1988. She has a genuine connection with the local community and in 1996 set up Grants Solicitors, a specialist fi rm focused on dealing with the problems of family breakdown. T e practice has acted for more than 14,000 clients and employs about 15 people. Helen applied to become a parliamentary candidate and was approved as a candidate in May 2006. In June 2010, she was elected to the Justice Select Committee, a House of Commons group that oversees the policy, administration and spending of the UK’s Ministry of Justice. In addition, Helen was a non-executive director of the Croydon NHS Primary Care Trust from 2005 to 2007 before stepping down to focus on her political career.


Bishop John Francis


Founder and Senior Pastor, Ruach Ministries


Bishop John Francis is considered one of Britain’s most infl uential black church leaders. He is the founder and leader of Ruach Ministries, the UK’s second-largest black majority church. Ruach’s main church is in Brixton, south London, a second was opened in Kilburn, north-west London in 2008, and a third in Walthamstow, east London, in 2011. Ruach’s collective membership is estimated at 7,000. Bishop Francis is also one of the best-known British church leaders in the US, having established his international profi le via his popular TV ministry Order My Steps, which broadcasts on various satellite and cable channels around the world. Bishop Francis made history in 2006 when the former prime minister Tony Blair visited Ruach and took part in the Power of One conference to encourage more black Britons to vote. Bishop Francis also led the chart-topping Inspirational Choir and recorded, with renowned Pastor Donnie McClurkin, the multi-platinum album Live In London. Bishop Francis had the pleasure to host the hustings for London’s mayoral candidates. In 2006 Bishop Francis was also featured in the USA Gospel Today magazine, where he was placed at No 5 in its top-10 World-Class Pace Setting Pastors list.


46 POWERLIST 2013 | WWW.POWERFUL-MEDIA.COM


Shaun Bailey


Special Adviser to the Prime Min- ister on Crime, Welfare, Poverty and Youth


Shaun’s position as a Downing Street adviser to the Prime Minister makes him the first ever black political appointee to a PM from any political party. Shaun entered politics in 2005 by publishing a paper on solving the social crisis for the Centre for Policy Studies, of which he was a Research Fellow. Shaun was chosen as the Conservative Party Candidate for Hammersmith by open primary, and narrowly lost out on election to Parliament in 2010, in a difficult race. Since then he has taken on the special advisor role in which he advises David Cameron on youth and crime, working to help shape the Government agenda on those topics. Shaun, who is an excellent public speaker, also writes regularly for various media outlets including The Sun, The London Evening Standard, The Times, The Guardian and The Independent, as well as appearing often on Newsnight, Question Time and Sky News, where he held a regular paper review slot until 2010. Hotly tipped to become an MP at the next general election, Shaun lives with his wife and two young children in west London. He retains membership of the British Gymnasts Association and is currently chair of the Panel of Judges at the Spirit of London Awards.


Pic: John Ferguson


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