The list of the 100 most influential black people in the UK is out again, and the highest honour has been given to businesswoman Gina Miller.
Ms Miller topped the 2018 Powerlist of 100 black people because of her successful challenge to Brexit which went all the way to the Supreme Court. Ms Miller argued that starting talks to leave the EU would mean changing UK law and so it could not be done without a vote by all MPs in Parliament – and the court agreed.
I completely admire Ms Miller for her campaign, which saw her vilified in some parts of the media (namely the Daily Mail), and even led to her receiving death threats from umpteen numpties. Despite this barrage of hatred she continued her court fight, which was basically in all of our interests, because it was brought to ensure that democracy prevailed.
Whether you want the UK to leave the EU or not, it would be ignorant in the extreme not to realise the importance of what Ms Miller set out to prove – that MPs, who are elected by the people and represent them, not just the Prime Minister (who at the time was Theresa May who had not even been elected to that position) must have the final say when there are changes to UK law.
I hope this recognition, by an independent panel who rated nominees on their “ability to change lives and alter events”, shows Ms Miller that there are hundreds of thousands of people who supported her case and are glad that she had the guts to pursue it.
The other interesting aspect of the list this time, is the large number of black women who are on it. They make up half of the names listed and include composer Shirley J Thompson, Ofcom Chief Executive, Sharon White, and Professor of Nursing at Sheffield Hallam University, Laura Serrant.
The rest of the list, which recognises people of African and African Caribbean heritage, is made up of people from all walks of life including lawyers, entrepreneurs, educators, sportspeople, musicians and media personalities etc etc, and amply demonstrates how diverse the black talent pool is in the UK.
Here’s the top ten:
- Gina Miller – business owner, political activist
- Ric Lewis – chief executive and chairman of Tristan Capital Partners
- Ismail Ahmed – World Remit founder
- Sharon White – Ofcom chief
- Dr Nira Chamberlain – professional mathematician
- Jacky Wright – chief digital and information officer, HMRC
- Sandra Wallace – UK managing partner, DLA Piper
- Professor Laura Serrant – Professor of Nursing, Sheffield Hallam University
- Dr Shirley J Thompson – music composer, visionary and cultural activist
- Edward Enninful – British Vogue editor-in-chief