A high flier since his student days, broadcaster and former politician Trevor Phillips is regarded as a prime mover and shaker

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Mark ‘Trevor’ Phillips was born in 1953 to Guyanese parents who had settled in the UK three years earlier, returning with him to Guyana where he attended the prestigious Queen’s College. He continued his education in London, studying for a BSc in chemistry at Imperial College, where he was elected president of the National Union of Students in 1978.

He began a career in broadcasting, working on Channel 4’s magazine programme Black on Black in 1985. He also worked as a researcher and presenter at London Weekend Television, fronting The London Programme before being promoted as head of current affairs in 1992, a post he held for two years. He was awarded an OBE in 1999 for his services to broadcast journalism.

From 1993 to 1998 he was chair of the Runnymede Trust and in 2003 became chair of the Commission of Racial Equality, and later chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

With his brother Mike he wrote Windrush: The Irresistible Rise of Multicultural Britain in 1998 to commemorate 50 years since the docking of the MV Empire Windrush. A four-part BBC TV series accompanied the publication.

In recent years Trevor has caused controversy with his views on multiculturalism, saying it could cause Britain to “sleepwalk towards segregation”. His remarks led to him clashing with the then mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, who accused him of “pandering to the right”.

In 2015, Channel 4 aired Things We Won’t Say About Race (That Are True), a documentary that he presented and co-produced via his company, Pepper Productions, in which he claimed political correctness was suppressing honest debate about race.

The following year, he presented the documentary What British Muslims Really Think, which produced evidence suggesting that large numbers of British Muslims don’t want to integrate.

Trevor joined the Labour Party in 1996 and became a ‘New Labour’ stalwart, running as Labour’s candidate for London mayor in 1999, but he withdrew early from the race. In 2000 he joined the London Assembly, serving as chair for three years.

In 2015, he was appointed president of the John Lewis partnership council, one of several high-profile board memberships.

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