ex-Hackney councillor named Man of the Year

Man of the Year, Patrick (centre) with other winners at the Precious awards

Man of the Year, Patrick (centre) with other winners at the Precious awards - Credit: Archant

An ex-Hackney councillor and cultural historian has been named Man of the Year at a prestigious awards ceremony, where he dedicated his award to teenager Shereka Marsh who died earlier this year.

Patrick Vernon was given the coveted accolade in the male category of the Precious Awards, which celebrate the achievements of women of colour in business.

The ceremony took place last week and Mr Vernon was selected from a shortlist including Levi Roots and Tim Campbell.

Mr Vernon is known for founding 100 Great Black Britons, a campaign promoting the black community’s contributions to Britain and challenging the notion of Britishness that excludes multicultural communities in the UK. He has also written books on black history and led key campaigns such as the bid to have a public holiday named after the Windrush, and for the soldier and footballer Walter Tull to receive his military cross from the First World War.

Mr Vernon said: “It is great to be recognised for my work promoting black history and heritage through my campaign, especially from a women’s organisation. I have six sisters and I like to think I do have a feminine side which can appreciate women’s contributions in society.

“One of the things that affected me as a councillor was the murder of Shereka Marsh. I organised for the Jamaican High Commissioner to come to her school. Shereka was a prefect, I sat next to her and in that short time got to know her. I would like to think this award is trying to promote young women’s opportunities in society and women in business and politics.”