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Self-Nomination Statements for LFPG Executive Committee 2024

Total Nominations: 13 

Positions available: 7 

Alphabetical order by surname:

Peymana Assad 

Over the last four years, as a Founder and Co-Chair of the Labour Foreign Policy Group I am proud to have established LFPG as the distinguished go-to foreign policy organisation within the Labour Party. As Labour gets ready for Government, I am determined to make sure the expert voices within our membership and those with lived experience of conflict are heard by Labour Ministers. I’ve worked incredibly hard over the last two years to put members at the heart of the organisation by:


  1. Leading on LFPG’s application for official affiliate status, building relationships with key stakeholders within the NEC and socialist societies. Securing this status is vital, and I'd like to complete the job!

  2. Secured external sponsors for LFPG’s first standalone event at the 2023 party conference and for launch of our Middle East and North Africa Forum in Oxford.

  3. Represented LFPG on panels and roundtables, at Labour Party Conference, Progressive Britain Conference and Fabian Society

  4. Led key relationships and events with Shadow Front Bench ministers, Embassies, sister parties and socialist societies like LCID, LFF, SERA, and LWN.

  5. Led the strategic oversight of LFPG by securing sponsors, organising Annual Survey, member dinners, building Labour Conference partnerships, maintaining relationships with co-presidents and advisory board.

  6. Reconvening Russia working group and establishing the MENA Forum as member led initiatives  


I want to ensure that a future Labour Government meets the needs of communities in the UK and across the globe through LFPG members diversity of thought and understanding.

Andrew Bruce

I am a member of the Southwark Labour Party, with 20 years of foreign policy experience, who served on the executive committee for the past two years.


At a time of instability and mounting threats, a Labour government should implement a foreign policy that is robust, responsible and generous.  After a decade of drift and disengagement, we must face the challenges of a multi-polar world by rebuilding relations with partners, re-engaging with international institutions and restoring our reputation in international development.


If re-elected, I will seek to help LFPG expand its vision by (i) becoming a critical friend to the Labour government, supportive where possible, challenging where necessary; (ii) increasing its support to Labour MPs to enable them to contribute effectively on issues of international concern; and (iii) strengthening its relationship with members by providing more opportunities to participate in the group’s activities.


I will also continue to help the committee shape its approach to conflict prevention, mediation, democracy and human rights, drawing on experience working for the UN, EU and OSCE, in countries at the centre of foreign policy concerns, including Ukraine, Russia, Afghanistan, Nigeria, DRC, Venezuela and Serbia.  And I will increase the preparation of briefings on issues of international concern and develop regular dinner and discussion evenings for members, which I recently established.


Finally, teaching politics at an inner-city school gives me a keen awareness of the concerns of young people, which should help inform the development of foreign policy fit for their future.

Toby Dickinson

I will bring defence and international security policy experience and perspectives to the Executive Committee’s work, supporting LFPG in strengthen existing ties between foreign and defence policy communities. I have experience of working with Labour front and backbenchers on a range of international policy issues, from NATO to Russia to Syria. As Co-Chair of Labour Friends of the Forces I have had experience leading an organisation with a similar structure and profile and which has successfully engaged Labour members across the Party on issues important to both the Party and the electorate. I have co-authored a chapter in a forthcoming Fabian Defence publication and supported defence policy development for Labour as it prepares to assume the responsibilities of government. If elected to the Executive Committee, I would look to with the Labour International Group and with like-minded affiliates to support Labour in government, and to explore areas of common interest and work with foreign policy groups in sister parties across Europe and North America

Claire Hickson

With the prospect of a Labour Government, this is a critical moment in shaping the Party’s foreign policy, and the LFPG has a vital role to play in that. My 25 years of experience in foreign, development, and climate policy, both inside and outside government, along with my deep roots in the Labour Party, position me well to serve on the Executive Committee. If elected, I will collaborate with colleagues to harness expertise within the group and the UK foreign policy community to foster discussion on the way forward on the multiple global challenges we face and how a Labour Government can restore the UK’s status as a trusted international partner after 14 years of Conservative government.


My career spans roles as an adviser for the Department for International Development, the Commission for Africa, and numerous high-profile international organisations and campaigns. I've advised on a huge range of topics from climate change to peace and security, global health to women’s rights, elections to arms control, and plenty more besides. This background equips me with an excellent understanding of Whitehall, international politics and organisations, and I have strong connections across the Labour Party and with key organisations in the UK and globally. As a longstanding party member, activist, and former councillor and Cabinet member in Southwark, I am deeply committed to ensuring we succeed in delivering our manifesto commitments and would be very grateful for your support.

James Jennion

I am standing for re-election to the LFPG Committee to continue my work advocating for a Labour foreign policy centred around human rights, prosperity, and security.


As Chair of LFPG’s China Working Group, I have worked to build stronger links between the party and the foreign policy community, organising a regular series of roundtables with the Shadow Asia Minister focusing on Labour’s policies on Xinjiang, Taiwan, and resilience against hostile state activities.


My priorities as a Committee member will continue to be advocating for Labour to:


  1. Implement proactive human rights policies, such as developing a new model for preventing mass atrocities, e.g. genocide and ethnic cleansing;


  1. Strengthen the UK’s protection against malign state actions, such as the hostile acquisition of security critical assets; and


  1. Ensure the UK leads global efforts on the climate emergency.


I will continue to bring my varied experiences to bear on LFPG’s work. I am co-director of the Labour Campaign for Human Rights and an Associate Fellow of the British Foreign Policy Group. I previously worked on refugees’ rights at Amnesty International, where I focused on climate displacement and crisis response work.


I led political advocacy around the invasion of Ukraine at UNICEF UK, and as an adviser to the Foreign Affairs Committee I managed parliamentary inquiries on Xinjiang, Myanmar, and the wider Indo-Pacific.


As we are finally in sight of a Labour Government, I am determined to use this expertise to continue pushing for innovative responses to the urgent challenges we face.

Terry Jones

The incoming Labour Government faces unprecedented foreign policy challenges. In addition to direct threats to national security, the UK together with its traditional allies must play a prominent role in international negotiations to address other existential threats, like climate change, pandemic preparedness and reform and strengthening of the post-WW2 multilateral framework.

My academic background is in international politics and development at the Universities of Sussex (School of African & Asian Studies) (BA Hons) and Birmingham (Centre for West African Studies) (M.Phil). Between 1979-1985 I worked as a teacher in Sudan and Algeria, before moving to Seychelles in 1985 to work for the National Youth Service. In 1988, I transferred to Seychelles’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Planning & Environment as Economic Cooperation Officer, and subsequently served as Director of Legal Affairs & Research, Director for Multilateral Affairs, and eventually Director-General for International Relations. During my diplomatic career I frequently represented Seychelles on overseas missions, and at major international and regional negotiations and conferences.

I returned to the UK in 2003 as Assistant Executive Director for the Advisory Committee for the Protection of the Sea (ACOPS), an international NGO founded by Sir James Callaghan. Between 2005-2022 I worked as Nature Conservation Officer for Ashford Borough Council. I re-joined the Labour Party after retiring in July 2022.

I would like to be a member of the LFPG Executive Committee because I believe my academic background and work experience equips me to make an effective and unique contribution to the work of the LFPG.

Gary Kent

Foreign and security policy will provide massive challenges for a Labour Government. The need for increased understanding, unity, and disagreeing well is high. Labour needs to apply progressive realism in fast changing conditions. I’d like to play a part in helping the LFPG contribute to these discussions.

I joined the party in 1976 and am an International Relations graduate. I joined a State Department programme on foreign policy making that criss-crossed America in 2002. I started work as a Labour adviser in Parliament in 1987. I focused in the first half on Northern Ireland and Anglo/Irish relations through peace groups from across these islands. I helped change Labour policy on Northern Ireland and advance the peace process.

I spent the next half working on Iraq/Kurdistan Region, taking dozens of parliamentarians and others there as Director of Labour Friends of Iraq and Secretary of the APPG on the Kurdistan Region, which I visited 36 times. I was Deputy Chair in Erbil of the European Technology and Training Centre for many years and also Director of Policy at the main university there.

In the last two years I have been the Clerk of the Labour International Group, which Wayne David led. It runs diplomatic briefings for parliamentarians and I organised a fact-finding delegation to Estonia last year. I have written columns since the 1990s and since 2022 write a monthly column on foreign policy for Progressive Britain. I frequently attend Chatham House and other foreign policy events.

Ben Kitchener

My Spanish and Russian degree from the University of Bristol has equipped me with the ability to understand and research foreign policy in depth. As part of my studies, I lived in both Spain and Latvia, and immersed myself in their respective cultures and politics. During my time there, I had to write year abroad essays, for which I organised and conducted interviews in Spanish, Catalan and Russian, investigating the fracture in the Catalan independence movement and whether nostalgia existed for the USSR in the Latvian city of Daugavpils, located 20km away from the border with Belarus.


I am deeply involved in Labour party politics and am an incredibly dedicated activist, which helped me gain the role of Digital Cohort Lead for the target seat of Filton and Bradley Stoke. At the University of Bristol, I was President of the Slavonic Society, responsible for organising events including a fundraiser for Ukraine. I have also been a course representative every year at university.


As a Freeman of the City of London with the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals, I have an exceptional network of contacts from across the private and public sector of UK security that I would be able to draw on if elected to the LFPG Executive Committee.


I believe foreign policy will be a critical policy area for the next Labour government and I want to contribute what I can to help ensure we form a coherent and relevant policy for the challenges of today.

Simon Radford

As a Labour Councillor but with a PhD in Political Science and International Relations, it was inevitable that I would join LFPG! We stand at the precipice of a Labour government that will make a lasting difference to Britain’s place in the world. I think we need to do this in three main ways: (1) Join up the domestic and international spheres: Jake Sullivan has made clear that the lines between industrial policy, international political economy and security are not just blurred but irreparably intertwined. We need to strategise at the intersection of these disciplines. (2) Be realistic about ends and means: ‘progressive realism’ means being sober about what we can achieve but idealistic about what we choose to pursue. We don’t need to assume the world is ‘tragic’ but neither is the arrow towards progress straight and steady. (3) Use our Soft Power thoughtfully: we need to attract talent and capital to the UK, promote our strength and values abroad, and highlight the UK’s role in the future, not just market our past.


In my role as head of policy for the Milken Institute in Europe I have been tasked with thinking hard about all of these issues, whether interviewing Democrats about what we should borrow from Bidenomics, gathering leading thinkers about the future of Ukraine, or about how to channel pension money into strategic industries. I have written on issues ranging from democracy promotion to energy politics. I am keen to play my part in LFPG!

Anna-Joy Rickard

I am re-standing for the Executive Committee having been part of the founding executive of the LFPG. I bring expertise in foreign policy from advising West African leaders on strategic communication, delivery of government priorities and international positioning and most recently from covering the multi-faceted Sahel crisis providing geopolitical analysis and supporting diplomatic responses from Europe. I currently host The Great British Foreign Affairs podcast and, through that platform, convene and produce thought leadership on Britain’s role in the world of today. I began my career in international development specialising in Latin America and Asia, and am a linguist. I was also a Labour councillor in Hackney, East London for eight years and have been a Labour activist since 2007. I am excited about this new era for Labour and believe that the LFPG can play an important role in the Labour eco-system prompting, inspiring and equipping decision-makers to seize this opportunity to turn Britain’s foreign policy around - from a country unsure of its place in the world to a country proud and confident of who we are and what we can contribute. If elected, I will bring my skills, strategic thinking, connections and enthusiasm to this aim. I also look forward to supporting the organisation to affiliate to the Labour Party (which it is now old enough to do) and to pursue ongoing ways that members can connect and contribute, including encouraging more women in their foreign policy careers and interest.

Akli Sh’kka

  • I’m holding Master degree in International Relations Global & Security Governance.(London University 2018)

  • Diploma Degree in: Documentary Filmmaking ( Leeds Open University (2010)


I’m a regular Adviser forthe following embassies, bodies and Organisations:


  •  UK , Ukraine, France and US Embassies (in Libya)

  • The UK Foreign Office (for many years now)

  • The Armed and political movements in Northern Mali and Niger

  • The Political Parties Union in Libya ( more than 38 Political Party)

  • A Tutor at MoD in 2020, I’ve given briefings & advice on Sahel, MENA Region

  • contributed in drafting  : The U.S. Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability 10-Year Plan for Libya 2022-2032

  • My Berber-Tamashekt text-books are being currently studied at the MoD


  • First-hand knowledge in ethnic compositions, deep relationships with nomadic tribes, leaders, political structures in the Sahel region and North Africa

  • As a peacemaker: in 2016, I led negotiations & signed peace agreement between Tuareg and Tobou Tribes in Doha, Qatar

  • I’m a Founder and director of Toumast Satellite TV


  • Writing in both Arabic and English: (eg Man of the Sahara: A Long Walk to the Tuareg Statehood)

  • Currently, I’m a committed Canvasser and Board Runner for Harrow East Labour MP candidate Primesh Patel.



  • Berber-Tuareg (Mother Tongue)

  • Arabic

  • French

  • English


The reason , I joined Labour Party 4 Years ago, and LFPG in particular is in hope to offer my expertise and to change the current Tories bad foreign policy particularly in Sahel where the most dangerous UK’s enemy, Russia is moving rapidly in.

Jessica Toale

Over the last four years as a founder and Co-Chair of LFPG, I am proud to have seen the organisation grow and diversify to become one of Labour’s pre-eminent foreign policy organisations. I continue to be driven by our mission to ensure Labour members with expertise and interest in foreign policy are involved in the Party’s policy development process. This is more important than ever as we seek to govern for the first time in 14 years and as the world faces increasingly unstable times.

I have worked hard to build on our first two years and provide a space for members, including by:

·Continuing to grow our network of member-led working groups adding one on international development and climate and hosting events outside of London.

·Leading work to publish our first paper on a new approach to international development and continuing our annual survey.

·Supporting the development of our Labour Party conference programme.

·Representing LFPG at Labour Party Conference, Fabian Conference and other industry events, roundtables and panels.

·Leading events and co-operation with affiliates like SERA, LCID and LFF.

·Building relationships with the Shadow frontbench and sister parties.

In the next year we hope to secure our socialist society affiliation to the Labour Party. My aspiration is for LFPG to be the go-to organisation for Labour ministers and I want to see our membership continue to grow, our engagements deepen and our relationship with sister parties and embassies flourish.

Joe Wright

I’m a director at a public affairs agency which specialises in helping companies to understand the policy landscape they face in different countries, including at EU level (we have a Brussels office). I have been doing this for eight years, during which I have advised multinationals on how to navigate many challenges shaped by UK foreign policy (most notably Brexit), working across defence, security and public health (e.g. infectious diseases). I’ve previously worked for a thinktank as a researcher, drafting policy papers and organising seminars on trade and other policy areas. My academic background was in religious studies. I think this experience would help me to bring the following skills to the Executive Committee:

  • Experience of working with others to run a small organisation with limited resources (I am a member of a board for an SME).

  • A network of contacts to potentially draw upon to contribute to various foreign policy discussions, and the experience to build new networks.

  • An understanding of policymaking processes. The longer I work in politics, the more I have come to appreciate that knowing “how” policy is made can be just as important as understanding the arguments.

  • An appreciation of how religious backgrounds can play an important role in international relations.

The (fingers-crossed) incoming Labour Government faces colossal foreign policy challenges and choices thanks to the previous 14 years. I would like to help the LFPG to continue to make a meaningful contribution to this debate - one shaped by equality, fairness, solidarity and internationalism.

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