Friday, December 13, 2019
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15 Pakistan-origin MPs elected to House of Commons

65 non-white parliamentarians elected to the 650-strong British Parliament

LONDON: A total of 15 British Pakistanis are among 65 non-white parliamentarians elected to the 650-strong British Parliament after the general election which saw Prime Minister Boris Johnson return to power with a big majority and a bruising defeat for the Labour Party.

In the fight for 650 seats, Tories have got 364 seats; Labour 203; SNP 48, Lib Dems 12 and the Greens one.

While Labour Party lost dozens of seats to Conservatives on a swing of around 11% in its traditional heartlands, most of the Labour MPs of Pakistani origin have been elected again with the exception of Faisal Rasheed, the Labour MP for Warrington, who failed to retain his seat.

The victory of 15 Pakistanis origin MPs is increase of four parliamentarians in the list of 12 MPs who were member of the last parliament and it’s also a reflection of the role 1.5 million strong Pakistani/Kashmir community plays in Britain. The number of Indian origin MPs has also gone up from 12 to 15 in the new parliament.

The winners on the Labour tickets include: Zarah Sultana MP from Coventry South (new) by securing 19,544 votes with a narrow margin of 491 votes; Tahir Ali MP from Birmingham Hall Green (new) won easily after he got 35,889 votes; Khalid Mehmood MP from Birmingham Perry Barr received 26,594 votes; Shabana Mahmood MP from Birmingham Ladywood got 33,355 votes; Naz Shah MP from Bradford West received 33,736 votes; Imran Hussain from Bradford East secures 27,825 votes; Muhammad Yasin narrowly defended his Bedford seat and won only by 145 after securing 20,491 vote; Yasmin Qureshi from Bolton South East got 21,516 votes; Dr Rosenna Ali Khan from Tooting in London received 30,811 and Afzal Khan MP from Manchester Gorton got 34,583 votes.

The winners on the ruling Tory party ticket include: Saqib Bhatti from Meriden (new) by securing 34,358 votes; Sajid Javid from Bromsgrove got 34,408 votes, Nusrat Ghani from Wealden received 37,043 votes; Rehman Chishti from Gillingham got 28,173 and Imran Ahmed Khan from Wakefield (new) secured 21,283 votes.

The inclusion of 65 non-white MPs makes the current parliament most diverse house in British political history. The last House had 52 MPs from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Iraqi origin Nadhim Zahawi won again from Stratford upon Avon on the Tory ticket and Feryal Clark of Turkish-Kurd background (new) from Enfield North won on Labour Party.

The Indian origin MPs on the Tory ticket include: Gagan Mohindra; Claire Coutinho; Priti Patel; Alok Sharma; Shailesh Vara; Suella Braverman; and Rishi Sunak. On the Labour benches: Navendu Mishra; Virendra Sharma; Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi; Seema Malhotra; Preet Kaur Gill; Lisa Nandy; and Valerie Vaz. Munira Wilson has won on the Liberal Democrats ticket.

Bangladeshi origin elected MPs include: Rushnara Ali from Bethnal Green & Bow; Rupa Haq in Ealing Central & Acton; Tulip Siddiq in Hampstead and Apsana Begum (new) from Poplar & Lime House.

Most of the other MPs defended their majority comfortably but in most cases there was a significant swing to Conservatives because of the clear message of Conservatives over the issue of Brexit. While Labour’s message to voters was complicated and full of ideas, the Tory message was simple and struck chord with the ordinary people. The Tories successfully exploited the worries of people over Brexit and promised to bring change and progress by quitting the European Union by making Britain great again.

No Pakistani origin candidate could win on the tickets of Liberal Democrats, Greens or the Brexit party. The SNP didn’t give ticket to any Pakistani.