The Somali community has become increasingly engaged in British politics. There are eight councillors in London, a former mayor, and a member of the House of Commons.
Mark Hendrick is an Anglo-Somali Labour politician. He has been the Member of Parliament for Preston retaining the seat for his party at a by-election in 2000. He was then successfully re-elected in June 2001 after a landslide victory with 20,540 votes
Hendrick previously represented the Central Lancashire as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from 1994–1999.
He was born in 1958 in Salford, Lancashire. He is of Anglo–Somali descent. His father worked in the timber industry.
Hendrick studied attended Liverpool Polytechnic (now Liverpool John Moores University), where he completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical and Electrical Engineering. He also earned a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Manchester. Additionally, Hendrick is a Chartered Engineer and holds a Certificate in Education (a teaching qualification) from the same institution.
Recently in the December 2019 General Election, Mark received 20,870 votes, which equaled a 61.8% majority, retaining his seat.
Mark was first elected to Salford City Council in 1987 and served on the City Council for eight years.
“What drove me into politics was seeing the wasted potential of people I grew up with. People who were denied fair chances because of poverty, a poor education and then the lack of a job.”
Mark was in the European Parliament before he sat in the House of Commons. He rose through the ranks as MEP for Lancashire Central, an area which includes Preston, where he became Labour’s spokesperson on economic, monetary and industrial policy, and later was elected Leader of the Socialists on the European Parliament’s most powerful legislative committee, the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee Mark is now on the influential Select Committee for International Development.
Following the change over from Prime Minister, Tony Blair to Gordon Brown, Mark was moved to become PPS to Jack Straw the Lord High Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Justice in the re-shuffle that followed. Mark served as a PPS to Jack Straw, Minister of Justice, for one year.
Hendrick’s political interests include foreign affairs, international development, defence, European, economic, monetary and industrial affairs.
Hendrick was appointed a Knight Bachelor in the 2018 New Year Honours for parliamentary and political service.