A record number of ethnic minorities have been elected to Parliament.
There are now 27 ethnic minority MPs, 11 more than were produced at the 2005 General election. Sadly we lost Dawn Butler in Brent Central, who was the first (and so far only) black female Government Minister in the House of Commons.
Sadiq Khan was re-elected as MP for Tooting running a fantastic ‘Yes We Khan’ campaign. Unfortunately, Maryam Khan was unsuccessful in repeating this success in Bury North. Priti Patel became the first Conservative Asian female MP. Tory candidate Shaun Bailey was unsuccessful in his quest to become Hammersmith MP. Labour’s Rushanara Ali made history in becoming the first Bangladeshi MP by taking Bethnal Green and Bow from the Respect Party.
Good news for Yasmin Qureshi who was our unsuccessful Parliamentary candidate in Brent East in 2005. She has now been elected as the MP for Bolton South East.
Every single Lib Dem MP is white, and once again, the Lib Dems have failed to contribute to provide us with the representation in Parliament that the United Kingdom deserves, and only the Labour Party and the Conservative Party have contributed to make Parliament more representative of the people.
All the focus seems to be on coalitions, the hung Parliament and the Governance situation, but lets not forget that we have come a long way in the 2010 election on ethnic minority representation.
Nonetheless, we must also not forget that there is still a long way to go before we get 60 ethnic minority MPs, which is the number needed to make Parliament representative of the nation.
I recenty spoke along with Transport Minister Sadiq Khan MP, Islington South and Finsbury MP Emily Thornberry and my fellow young Brent Council Candidates Roxanne Mashari (Welsh Harp Ward) and Nadhim Ahmed (Dollis Hill Ward) at a Young People’s reception organised by Youth Opportunities and Youth Engagement Minister Dawn Butler MP.
It was amazing to meet so many young people involved positively in our communities. A few members of the Brent Youth Parliament were among the guests which has since caused local controversy. The Liberal Democrat and Conservative controlled Brent Council has since sent the Brent Youth Parliament members an intimidating letter saying:
“You will obviously need to give careful consideration as to whether you wish to align yourself with a particular person or group and what impact this may have on others’ perception of you as a Brent Youth Parliament member.
“If you do decide to participate in local politics, you will need to give consideration as to which person or group you are willing to be connected with and, any implications of this.”
Barry Gardiner MP, who represents Brent North in Parliament raised the issue in Parliament and was advised by Sir Alan Haselhurst to take the matter to the Speaker of the House of Commons. Harrow Times have reported in the story LINK.
I think it’s an absolute disgrace that young people are being discouraged from being involved in politics by being threatened and intimidated in this manner.
Brent Labour has led the way in youth representation and in this years’ local elections will be putting forward 5 candidates in their 20s.