STAR-STUDDED SUPPORT: Dawn Butler with Raheem Sterling
LIVERPOOL STAR Raheem Sterling says he’s backing Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate Dawn Butler in her bid to win the Brent Central seat.
The 20-year-old, who credits Butler for “helping me and my family” when they moved from Jamaica to northwest London, visited Butler’s campaign offices last week and the two discussed the importance of the Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community taking to the polls on May 7.
Sterling, widely considered to be one of the most exciting young talents in the Premier League, was in London for his side’s FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on April 19 and took time out to give Butler’s election campaign a boost.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Sterling and his mother moved to the St Raphael’s estate in Brent, northwest London, when he was five.
In 2010, Butler lost her seat in Brent to Sarah Teather of the Lib Dems.
Losing by just over 1,300 votes, the competition was the tightest ever. Teather managed to overturn Labour’s margin of over 7,000 to secure the win and displace Butler. The loss was the third biggest national swing against Labour and one of the worst in London.
WRITING'S ON THE WALL: Raheem signs his name at Butler's campaign offices
Speaking at the Butler’s campaign office, Sterling thanked Butler for “helping me and my family when we lived in Brent” and said he would like to see her in the role of MP once more.
“She’s been a massive help to us when I was growing up,” he said. “Hopefully we can see her as MP again.”
Butler said Sterling had become a beacon of inspiration for young people from BAME backgrounds in Brent and praised his “hard work, passion and determination”.
She said: “Raheem’s a true inspiration for so many young people in our area, and represents the very best of Brent’s diverse community. His story is an amazing one – he could easily have gone down the wrong path and turned his back on football. But with hard work, passion and determination he’s risen to the top. He deserves every bit of his success.”
She added: “We have many talented young people in Brent who just need a chance or opportunity. I’m very proud of Raheem and all that he’s achieved and thank him and his mum from the bottom of my heart for coming along to help our campaign.”