UK Elections: Record number of Indian-origin MPs elected in British Parliament

UK Elections: Record number of Indian-origin MPs elected in British Parliament

A record number of Indian-origin MPs have been elected to the UK House of Commons


As many as 26 Indian-origin MPs have been elected to the House of Commons, according to results announced on Friday in the UK general election, with many escaping a brutal result overall for the Conservative Party.

Outgoing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has led the Tory campaign for British Indians with a decisive win in the Richmond and Northallerton constituency in Yorkshire. This will be little relief for the Tory leader, who saw his party lose more than 200 seats during Labour’s landslide victory.

“On this difficult night, I want to express my gratitude to the people of the Richmond and Northallerton constituencies for their continued support. Since I moved here a decade ago, you have made me and my family feel at home and I look forward to serving you in the years to come,” Sunak said in a message apparently aimed at quashing pre-election talk about his future plans as a politician.

Other prominent British Indian Tories who held on to their seats included former home secretary Suella Braverman and Priti Patel, as did Sunak’s Goan-born cabinet colleague Claire Coutinho. Gagan Mohindra held his South West Hertfordshire seat for the Conservatives, while Shivani Raja registered a gain for the party in the keenly watched constituency of Leicester East, where she was running against Indian-origin Labour candidate Rajesh Agrawal. Both had campaigned on the theme of saving the city’s famous Diwali lights from being switched off due to council budget cuts, as did former MP Keith Vaz who is contesting as an independent this time.

Big losers on the Tory side included Shailesh Vara, who lost his North West Cambridgeshire seat to Labour, and first-time candidate Ameet Jogia, who lost the Tory-held Hendon seat in London to Labour.

A tally of the overall election results shows that the Labour Party has seen the largest number of Indian diaspora candidates emerge victorious, including party stalwarts such as Seema Malhotra – who retained her Feltham and Heston constituency by a comfortable margin. Goan-origin Valerie Vaz, sister of Keith Vaz, won in Walsall and Bloxwich, as did Lisa Nandy by a big margin in Wigan.

British Sikh MPs Preet Kaur Gill, who defeated first-time Tory MP Ashvir Sangha, and Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi won back their seats for Labour in Birmingham Edgbaston and Slough respectively. Navendu Mishra (Stockport) and Nadia Whittome (Nottingham East) were among the other Labour MPs re-elected with large majorities.

Among the new entrants, British Indians have made a big mark for the Labour Party, including Jas Athwal (Ilford South), Bagny Shankar (Derby South), Satvir Kaur (Southampton Test), Harpreet Uppal (Huddersfield), Varinder Joos (Wolverhampton West), Gurinder Josan (Smethwick), Kanishka Narayan (Vale of Glamorgan), Sonia Kumar (Dudley), Surina Brackenbridge (Wolverhampton North East), Kirith Entwistle (Bolton North East), Jivan Sandher (Loughborough) and Sojan Joseph (Ashford), who are due to take their seats in Parliament next week.

For the Liberal Democrats, who had a well-fought election securing over 60 seats, Munira Wilson won again in the Twickenham constituency.

One seat on the Labour watch list was Islington North, where suspended former party leader Jeremy Corbyn contested as an independent candidate in a bid to defeat his British Indian Labour rival Praful Nargund.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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