Our People

Matthew Laza

Mathew is director of Progressive Centre UK. Formerly the director of Policy Network, he served as senior communications advisor to the then leader of the UK Labour Party, Ed Miliband. Previously, Matthew spent over a decade as BBC current affairs journalist. He is a regular speaker at international and domestic progressive policy debates.

Joseph Pagani

Joseph is the Communications Advisor for Progressive Centre UK. He has a background as a New Zealand Labour Party activist and political commentator. He completed a Master of International Trade at Victoria University of Wellington, and previously worked for Inland Revenue New Zealand, before moving to the United Kingdom.

Oli Kasin

Oli is the Stakeholder Manager for Progressive Centre UK. He currently sits as a member of the Executive of Patchwork Foundation, an organisation dedicated to getting young people from minority and under-represented communities involved in politics. Oli is a Labour Party activist, studies a Masters in Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict and previously worked for The Challenge.

Advisory Board

Chuka Umunna

Chuka is the former Member of Parliament for Streatham. In 2019 he co-founded The Independent Group with ten other former Labour and Conservative MPs. He later sat as a member of the Liberal Democrats, and was their spokesperson for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, International Development , and International Trade. He chairs the All Party Parliamentary Groups on Social Integration and on EU Relations and is a leading figure in the cross-party People’s Vote campaign for a referendum on the final Brexit deal. From 2011 to 2015 he served as the Labour Party’s Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. Before entering parliament, he practiced as a solicitor specialising in employment law for several years.

Sacha Romanovitch

Sacha was the first female to be elected as CEO of a major accountancy firm, appointed at Grant Thornton in 2015. Standing down in late 2018, she capped her reward to 20x the average employee and introduced shared enterprise for all the firm’s 4,500 people to share in its profits.

June Sarpong MBE

June has enjoyed a 20-year career which has seen her become one of the most recognizable faces on British television, equally comfortable interviewing politicians, celebrities and members of the public. Currently, June is a panellist on Sky News’s flagship weekly current affairs show 'The Pledge'.

Emily Benn

Emily is a former Labour parliamentary candidate and councillor and is currently a research assistant in the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, following a year studying in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Jeremy Cliffe

Jeremy is International Editor for the New Statesman. He previously worked for The Economist, where he was Brussels bureau chief, and wrote the weekly Charlemagne Column on Europe.

Paul Lindley

Paul is an award-winning British entrepreneur, social campaigner and best-selling author. He is the founder of Ella’s Kitchen, which has become the UK’s largest baby food brand, and co-founder of The Key is E, which supports African entrepreneurs whose social businesses benefit children.

Jane Merrick

Jane is a political commentator and co-founder of The Spoon. She regularly contributes to The i, CNN, The Times and The Daily Telegraph, BBC News and Sky News. In 2017 she was named Time Person of the Year alongside fellow ‘Silence Breakers’ from the #MeToo movement.

James Endersby

James is Chief Executive of the insight agency Opinium - which is active across the political landscape and accurately predicted the Brexit Referendum. James is also trustee of ‘My Life My Say’ which helps empower young people to participate in democracy.

Norman Lamb

Norman was the Liberal Democrat MP for North Norfolk from 2001-2019. He served as a minister in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Minister of State for Care and Support at the Department of Health as part of the Coalition Government.

Glen O'Hara

Glen is Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at Oxford Brookes University. A former schoolteacher and journalist, he is the author of a string of books and articles about modern Britain. He is also a regular commentator on contemporary politics.

Emma Reynolds

Emma was the Labour MP for Wolverhampton North East from 2010-2019. She has served as Shadow Europe Minister, Shadow Housing Minister, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and as a member of the Commons Brexit Select Committee.

Alex Mitchell

Alex is an entrepreneur and activist both in the UK and internationally. He is the founder and director of Causarma and Kit Us Out. Alex is also Chair of the IoD 99: the Institute of Directors network exclusively for high growth entrepreneurs.

Paul Myners

Paul is a crossbench member of the House of Lords, to which he was introduced in 2008 when appointed a Treasury minister in the Gordon Brown government. He previously chaired The Low Pay Commission amongst many other roles.

Sonia Sodha

Sonia is chief leader writer and a columnist at The Observer and deputy opinion editor at The Guardian. She also covers economic and social issues for BBC Radio 4 and was previously head of public services and consumer rights policy at Which? and a Senior Policy Adviser to Ed Miliband as Labour leader.


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