A record 15 Indian-origin politicians entered the UK’s House of Commons in December 2019 after a historic election won by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Indian-origin candidates across both the ruling Conservative and Opposition Labour parties registered equally strong results of seven wins each in the UK’s General Election on Thursday, with around a dozen MPs retaining their seats alongside some new faces, taking their number in the UK’s Lower House up to 15.
Prime Minister Johnson emphatic victory set the UK on course for an exit from the European Union (EU) next month. The new Parliament voted in also produced the most diverse Parliament ever, with one in 10 MPs now from an ethnic minority background.
The `15 Indian-origin MPs are among 65 non-whites elected to the new 650-member House of Commons on Friday, reflecting 10 per cent of its strength and making it ethnically the most diverse house in British political history.
The last House had 52 MPs from non-white backgrounds, reflecting progressive growth over the decades, building on efforts by various parties and stakeholders to make the British parliament more representative of its population.
The election of 15 MPs of Indian extraction is a new record for the 1.5 million-strong community: they include eight from Labour and seven from the Conservative party. There were 12 such MPs in the last House.
Also, for the first time, more ethnic minority women were elected than men. In 2009 there were only two ethnic minority women MPs; ten years on there are 37 women MPs, according to an analysis of ethnicity of new MPs by think-tank British Future.
Indian-origin politicians, from both the ruling Conservative and the opposition Labour parties, have won big in the UK general election.
The Indian-origin UK Home Secretary Priti Patel was re-elected from her Witham constituency. “Thank you to voters in the Witham constituency for re-electing me as your Member of Parliament. I will continue to be your strong voice, standing up for all communities across the entire constituency,” Patel tweeted on Friday.
Her victory means that the ruling Conservative Party, which won Thursday’s election by an overall majority, have held onto the seat they gained when it was first created in 2010, Essex Live reported. Patel received 32,876 votes, giving the party a vote share of 66.6 per cent over the Labour which came second.
The South West Hertfordshire constituency has voted for Gagan Mohindra of the Conservative Party as its MP, reports the Hertfordshire Mercury newspaper reported. Mohindra received 30,327 votes, giving the party, that has held the seat since 2005, 49.6 per cent of the vote share.
Meanwhile, Goan-origin Conservative MP Claire Coutinho won from the East Surrey seat with a majority of 24,040.
After the results were out, Coutinho tweeted on Friday morning: “Truly honoured to be the East Surrey candidate for @Conservatives. Time to #GetBrexitDone and get on with investing in our schools, hospitals and police to keep our streets safe.”
Although the Labour earned its worst results since 1935, some of the party’s Indian-origin MP’s managed to retain their seats.
Preet Kaur Gill, who made history in the 2017 election as the first British Sikh female MP, was re-elected from her Edgbaston constituency. She won 21,217 votes.
Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, the first turban-wearing Sikh MP, said that he was “immensly grateful” after retaining his seat in the Berkshire constituency by securing 29,421 seats.
Virendra Sharma also managed to retain his Ealing Southall seat which he had held since 2007.