A FOUNDATION THAT exists to promote and encourage ‘positive integration’ of under-represented and deprived minority communities has named Angus Robertson as their MP of the Year.
The Patchwork Foundation seek to help minority communities into British political society by promoting and highlighting best practice. Each year they recognise an MP who they believe has worked closest with such communities.
MP’s are nominated by individuals or grassroots community organisation and then selected by an independent panel of judges.
Among the comments from the judges considering the award this year was the statement that Mr Robertson “set the agenda of the last five years for his party highlighting the suffering of the most deprived communities in the country from issues ranging from the bedroom tax and the rise in food banks”.
The judges also commented that the Moray MP had championed and led the SNP agenda to “promote equality and human rights”, citing also his work with white deprived communities and support for charities that mentored schoolchildren.
Commenting on his award, Mr Robertson said: “It is an honour and privilege to receive this award from Patchwork, who do an incredible amount of work supporting people from all backgrounds to have a voice in politics.
“It is vital that, as politicians, we engage with as many people in society as we can and make our democracy accessible for all.
“Working with groups like SkillForce, who support disadvantaged young people, or Enable, who work with adults with learning difficulties, is enormously important if we are to ensure we are representing all of our community.
“We must also seek to understand cultural differences, such as across religious groups, and ensure that we treat people fairly and equally in everything we do.
“We need to ensure that we have full democratic accountability and encourage participation in politics from all cultures and backgrounds otherwise as a parliament we cannot reasonably claim to act on behalf of the people.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that Mr Robertson had done a “tremendous job” supporting groups of people who would otherwise be less engaged with democracy and representation, adding: “He has encouraged young people especially to be all they can be, I am delighted to congratulate Angus on this award.”
One of the organisations Angus has supported over the years is Skillforce who support children in schools across Moray.
Ben Slade, Chief Executive of SkillForce, an organisation that has been supported by the Moray MP over the years, added: “We provide education programmes for children and young people to help them develop self-confidence and resilience and skills for life and work.
“Angus has been an active supporter of our work in Scotland, and we would like to congratulate him on receiving this award.”