Southwark councillor Anood Al-Samerai has been honoured with this year's Patsy Calton Award for her exceptional contribution to the Liberal Democrats.
First elected 13 years ago, Anood has been an inspiration in her local party, London and beyond. She led the Liberal Democrat group on Southwark council for a decade until standing down as opposition group leader this summer. She also ran Simon Hughes' office for eight years.
Anood has worked tirelessly to build both the Southwark party and the wider Liberal Democrat party, and has also focussed on and nurtured women and minorities to stand for election at all levels across the country.
She is also a determined local representative, standing up to Labour, saving youth services and developing ideas and policies which the Labour-run council cannot ignore.
Honoured, touched and completely overwhelmed to have received the Patsy Calton Award at #LibDemConf tonight. Politics is always a team effort, especially in #LibDems and I am so lucky to have been surrounded by so many brilliant people in Southwark and beyond. Thank you xxx
— Anood Al-Samerai (@cllr_anood) September 28, 2020
Anood beat strong competition to win the award. The other shortlisted candidates were Julia Cambridge (vice chair of the Campaign for Gender Balance), Flo Clucas (former deputy leader of Liverpool City Council), Irene Davidson (first female leader of Rochdale council) and Emma Walker (Scottish Lib Dems).
This year's awards were judged by Liberal Democrats vice President Isabelle Parasram, with Anood's win announced by party president Mark Pack at the virtual conference.
Isabelle said: "There are many brilliant women in our Party and the competition for The Patsy Calton Award was very tough this year.
"First of all, I want to recognise those nominees who were not selected for the Award, but are also so deserving of recognition - we are grateful to all of you for your service to our Party.
"Alongside the Lib Dem Women Executive, I send my congratulations to the eventual winner, Anood Al Samerai.
"Her dedication, passion and resilience were well evidenced by her numerous nominees. They provided example after example of her exceptional achievements for her constituents and the underprivileged in society as well as her impact as a catalyst for change in a number of spheres.
"Thank you for your great work Anood!"
Awardees may be Liberal Democrat councillors, party members or Parliamentarians, who have achieved more for their constituents, the underprivileged in society, perhaps even taken on government and changed things for the better.
The award is named in memory of Patsy Calton, Liberal Democrat MP for Cheadle from 2001 to 2005. She was an exceptional Liberal Democrat councillor, Parliamentarian and fighter for her constituents. Sadly, Patsy died on 29th May 2005, just a short while after being re-elected as MP for Cheadle.
Look out for the award nominations next year for your chance to honour another outstanding woman Liberal Democrat.