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Voters elect most diverse parliament ever

FOR THE MANY: MP for Peterborough Fiona Onasanya, left, with Jeremy Corbyn

THERE WILL be a record number of ethnic minority MPs in the new House of Commons – with 51 ethnic minority MPs elected compared to 41 in the last Parliament.

The Conservative Party had hoped to step up on minority representation and perhaps even overtake Labour if early polls had proved correct and the party made significant electoral gains. Instead, Labour is again well ahead after a good night at the ballot box and a significant number of minority candidates being fielded.

Of the 51 non-white MPs in the new 2017 parliament, 31 will sit on the Labour benches out of a total of 261 Labour MPs (11%); while 19 are Conservatives, out of 315 (6%).

The Liberal Democrats will have one ethnic minority MP out of a total of 12 MPs (8%). She is Layla Moran in Oxford West and Abingdon, who overturned a Conservative majority of nearly 10,000 to take the university seat. A physics teacher, she is mixed race: her mother is a Christian Palestinian from Jerusalem, making her among the first British MPs with Arab roots.
Moran is one of eleven new ‘Class of 2017’ ethnic minority MPs, alongside eight for Labour and two Conservatives.

They are:

Marsha de Cordova (Labour, Battersea)

Fiona Onasanya (Labour, Peterborough)

Eleanor Smith (Labour, Wolverhampton South-West)

Kemi Badenoch (Conservative, Saffron Walden)

Bim Alofami (Conservative, Hitchin and Harpenden) .

Preet Gill, Britain's first ever female Sikh MP (Labour, Birmingham Edgbaston)

Tan Dhesi (Labour, Slough)

Mohammad Yasin (Labour, Bedford)

Faisal Rashid (Labour, Warrington South)

Bambos Charalambos (Labour, Enfield Southgate)

Afzal Khan (Labour, Manchester Gorton).

Sunder Katwala, Director of independent think tank 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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