• Tuesday, March 05, 2024


Most diverse parliament yet tells “positive story about integration”

Tanmanjeet Dhesi said he was honoured to be elected as Labour MP for Slough.

By: ReenaKumar

The record number of ethnic minority MPs in the new House of Commons tells a positive story about integration, the director of independent thinktank British Future has said.

There are a total of 51 members of parliament from black, Asian and minority backgrounds (BAME) which is an increase from 41 following yesterday’s general election.

In total, 31 MPs will sit on the Labour benches out of a total of 261 Labour politicians which represents 11 per cent of the party.

The Conservative ethnic representation stands at six per cent with 19 out of 315 MPs coming from diverse backgrounds.

Layla Moran has become the only Liberal Democrats BAME MP who overturned a Conservative majority of nearly 10,000 to take the Oxford West and Abingdon seat.

The physics teacher is mixed race,  her mother is a Christian Palestinian from Jerusalem, making her among the first British MPs with Arab roots.

Other significant appointments include Preet Gill who is Britain’s first ever female Sikh MP, and Tan Dhesi who represents Slough for Labour becoming the first turban wearing MP.

Sunder Katwala, Director of independent thinktank British Future, said: “The 2017 parliament will be the most diverse ever, with ten new ethnic minority MPs taking the total of non-white parliamentarians to 51.

“Thirty years on, that tells a positive story about integration since the breakthrough election of 1987.

“Most of the new minority MPs will sit on the Labour benches. The Conservatives had hoped to build on progress made under David Cameron and even to edge ahead of Labour on minority representation.

“But instead they are once again left behind, after a disappointing night for Theresa May and a failure to select enough BME candidates.

“After the success of Women2Win in addressing gender balance, there are now calls from within the Tory party for similar structures to ensure a strong supply of minority candidates in the future.”

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