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MPs & Creative Access interns discuss politics & diversity at House of Commons masterclass

After the fall out over Brexit, it couldn’t be a more relevant time to visit the House of Commons in Westminster again for a Creative Access masterclass on Politics.

The evening was hosted by Baroness Margaret McDonagh, with a panel of speakers: Conservative MPs, Helen Grant, Alan Mak, James Cleverly and Labour MP Dr.Rupa Huq. All of whom enforced the message that diversity is key – no matter what background we are from, we should embrace it our differences.

        helen grant  20160705_201037_resized[1]  alan mak  

Helen Grant is currently an MP for Mainstone and The Weald, who came from a ‘very very working class’ background with ‘lack of money and lack of opportunities’. She spoke of how she gained confidence from teachers believing and encouraging her sports ability and her success in sport helped her with other subjects and motivated her through life.

She addressed the budding politicians in the room stating ‘only 6.5% of MPs are from a black/Asian background, and only 29%’. Advising them to do a job in the real world first to see what life is really about, as ‘politics is not the real world’.

The next speaker Alan Mak, made British history in 2015, by becoming the first MP of Chinese (or any East Asian) descent in the UK. The son of Hong Kong immigrants, Alan came from a working class background, joining a political party at just 16 years old.

Being the first person in his family to go to University, going on to complete a Masters at Oxford, working in the City as a solicitor and eventually pursuing his own business in the creative industry, he chose three words that would be key to success: Focus, Ambition & Hard work.

            Rupa Huq    20160705_184608

The penultimate speaker James Cleverly, is an elected MP for Braintree in Essex. He left school and joined the army and eventually built a career in the communications industry.

James’ session focused on values, urging the creative minds in the room to ask themselves “am I adding value?” on their personal journeys in the creative industry. He spoke of how those behind the scenes in the creative industry add value and have an influence on an audience’s perceptions, proclaiming powerful words:

“be confident in your difference, use it to add value”.

James also advised to the audience, “if you get it right, you will be the conduit for how people understand things. Think hard about what makes you unique. Use your uniqueness to add value, if you do, you will be valuable”.

Our final speaker was Dr. Rupa Huq who joined Parliament at the 2015 elections winning the seat for Ealing Central and Acton with only 0.5% of the vote. A proud representative of her community, Dr.Rupa spoke of the struggle and drive to win every vote to get a seat, stating her motivation is serving the public.

Addressing the multicultural room, she stated “we need more people like you to shake up the (creative) industry”.

Baroness Margaret McDonagh, who expressed the economic and commercial urgency of having diversity in the creative industry, wrapped up the evening. With the UK being the second largest exporter of TV products, she voiced the necessity of having diversity behind the scenes to represent audiences all over the world. She concluded by giving our interns some valuable tips on standing out in the crowd to achieve their dreams.

We would like to thank Baroness Margaret McDonagh and the House of Commons for allowing us to host yet another amazing masterclass, as well as our inspirational guest speakers:
– Helen Grant
– Alan Mak
– James Cleverly
– Dr. Rupa Huq