Vidya Ram

Record 12 Indian-origin MPs make it to the House of Commons

Vidya Ram London | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on June 09, 2017

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Incumbents hold their ground; two Sikhs raise the tally

Whatever shape it takes, the new British Parliament will have a record number of Indian-origin MPs, as incumbents held their ground and two Sikh MPs won seats for the Labour Party. Labour now has seven Indian-origin MPs and the Conservatives, five.

The Labour, Liberal Democrats and Conservatives all fielded 14 Indian-origin candidates each, though none of the Liberal Democrats made it to the Commons.

Preet Kaur Gill has become the first Sikh woman to enter Parliament, as she replaced Gisela Stuart in the safe Labour seat of Birmingham Edgbaston.

Bus driver’s daugher

“Here I am, the daughter of the No 11 bus driver,” she said to great applause as she spoke to those gathered for the results early on Friday morning.

“My father came from India with great aspirations for us all…and this is the beginning of a journey. The British electorate has made an important decision and it’s my job to go to Westminster with a Labour team for the many, not the few,” she added.

Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, who is the first turban-wearing Sikh to enter Parliament, won Slough for the Labour party, increasing its share of the votes by 14.4 per cent.

“Humbled and honoured to be elected,” he tweeted on Friday morning, as he headed to the local gurdwara.

Among the incumbents are Labour’s Seema Malhotra and Virendra Sharma and the Conservatives’ Rishi Sunak, who represents the Yorkshire constituency of Richmond and is the son-in-law of Infosys founder Narayana Murthy.

However, the Conservative MP Paul Uppal failed to retake Wolverhampton South West — though his share of the vote rose, Labour’s grew by a greater margin even as support for the UK Independence Party collapsed.

Published on June 09, 2017
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