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Barking and Dagenham councillor set to become first Black woman to be elected to European parliament from the UK

Barking and Dagenham councillor set to become first Black woman to be elected to European parliament from the UK

Sanchia Alasia, a Labour party councillor in Barking and Dagenham is set to become the first Black woman from the UK to be elected to the European parliament in the elections set to be held on the 22nd May 2014.


Sanchia worked alongside the party members and activists in Barking and Dagenham to smash the BNP in Barking and defeat the sitting BNP councillor in her ward, Robert Bailey to become the youngest woman on the council.  She currently chairs the council’s Health and Adult Services Scrutiny Committee.


Sanchia is a specialist in French politics and she has done a number of key things in Europe with the European Diversity and Inclusion Congress, German Marshall Fund Transatlantic Inclusion Leaders Network and as an expert at the Council of Europe conference in Poverty and Inequality.


There are six new candidates that were chosen by a tough selection process by the London Labour party to fight the elections next year; they will be announced on the party’s website on Monday 8th April.


The final stage of the selection process is a one member one vote ballot which will be sent to all Labour party members in June.  The outcome of this ballot will determine the ranking of the candidates.  The higher the ranking the more likely it will be that the candidate will be elected.


This news comes on the back of another success for Sanchia; she has been selected to take part in the 50/50 European Campaign Political Mentoring Network, which will be launched this Tuesday in the European Parliament in Brussels.  This network will bring together current sitting MEPs from all political parties, with future candidates for the 2014 European Parliament elections. The European Women’s lobby, European Political Mentoring Network aims to empower ethnic minority women and women of foreign origin ahead of the June 2014 European elections and, ideally, to increase their representation in the European Parliament (EP), in order to address the lack of gender parity and ethnic diversity in political decision-making at European level.


More details about the political mentoring network can be found here:


Sanchia Alasia said:

‘It is a great honour and privilege to have been chosen as a candidate by the Labour party for the European elections in the London region for 2014.  I look forward to being able to use my direct experience to help Labour and sister parties across Europe tackle the rising threat of the far right.  This seat is not my seat but for every one of the nine million residents of London.

Sanchia was born in Jamaica and grew up in Newham, east London.  Both her parents worked in the public sector, her mum is a teacher and her dad was a train driver.  Sanchia has a BSc in politics and sociology and an MSc in politics, policy and government.

Sanchia is an award winning diversity and human resource specialist and an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD).   Sanchia has worked on equality and diversity issues in a number of public sector organisations.  She led the mature students section within the National Union of students, Black students campaign.  She sat on the women’s staff network committee and co-chaired the Black staff network group at Transport for London.  Whilst studying for her master’s degree she was elected as the race equality officer at the University of London Union.  Professionally her roles include diversity officer at Queen Mary University and Equality and Diversity lead within the NHS.  She currently provides expert diversity advice to Brunel University as their equality and diversity manager.  Working in all these roles has given Sanchia a strong understanding of equality and employment law as well as developing initiatives to improve workforce representation.

Due to her expertise, Sanchia was asked to write a chapter for the book ‘equality, inequalities and diversity ‘published by Palgrave Macmillan and co-wrote a chapter about the resources and constraints of diversity and equality officers.  Sanchia is a well sought after speaker and has spoken at the World Diversity leadership summit and the European Diversity Business Congress over the last couple of years.  Sanchia was selected as one of the 35 delegates to the Women in Public Service project out of the initial 170 applicants, which took place in Paris in October 2012. The theme of the project was global health, particularly relevant as she chairs the health scrutiny committee at the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.  In this role she has led a review of the quality and safety of maternity services at Queens’s hospital in Romford and is currently leading on an in-depth scrutiny review of services and support for diabetics in Barking and Dagenham.

Sanchia has always been an active individual, having been a student governor at her last university and was elected to become the first Black vice president in her students union.   As well as being an active member of the Labour party, Sanchia is also an active member of the Fabian Society, Co-op Party, Christian Socialist Movement, BAME Labour and her trade union, UNISON.  Sanchia has completed internships with Sadiq Khan and Diane Abbott and now brings that experience to help and to work closely with local residents in Alibon ward, resolving their issues with long lasting solutions.  Sanchia was elected as a Labour party councillor in Barking for Alibon ward in May 2010, where she defeated the London regional coordinator of the BNP, Robert Bailey, who was the sitting councillor at the time to become the youngest woman on the council.  Sanchia achieved over a 7% swing to Labour as the council candidate in the 2010 local elections by reaching out to the wider community.  Sanchia currently serves the borough as a school governor in a local primary school within her ward and as chair of the health and adult services scrutiny committee.

She is a specialist in French political analysis and broader European debate and writes about the French presidency and tackling the far right in the UK and across Europe on a regular basis, on her own blog and on

Sanchia was shortlisted to the final three for International politician of the year for the inaugural Google European Diversity Awards in 2011. She was long listed to the final ten for the Women in the city awards this year and was runner up for the women in public service category in the Precious awards that took place in late November 2012.

She was given a community leadership award for the work she tirelessly does in her local community, at the good neighbourhood awards ceremony which took place in Barking in December 2012.  She was shortlisted for young councillor of the year in the Local Government Information Unit, annual councillor 2013 achievement awards.

She also been shortlisted in the category of Local Government Personality of the year in the women in public life awards.  The ceremony is due to take place in March 2013.

Sanchia was elected onto the executive committee of the Labour Movement for Europe (LME) in February 2013.  LME is an affiliated socialist society in the Labour Party.  LME also works with Unions, the Co-operative Movement and other progressive groups – and puts them in a European context. They believe in progressive change and society’s capability to reflect social responsibility and solidarity – in workplaces and communities up and down this country, but also across Europe and across the globe.

Sanchia loves cooking and singing.

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