8 Indians among 18 Asians elected to British Parliament

London: Setting a new record for representation of Asians in the UK, a record number of 18 candidates, including eight Indian-origins have made their way into the prestigious British House of Commons after emerging victorious in the just concluded UK parliamentary polls.

A record number of eight Indian-origin candidates including two women have been elected to the parliament. Other ten Asian candidates, mostly of Pakistan origin, have also won in the general election.

They included three Muslim women – all Labour – elected to the 650-member House of Commons.

Prominent among the Indian-origin candidate is Keith Vaz who has been re-elected from the Leicester East constituency for the sixth time, gaining a bigger vote than ever before.

Vaz won 53.76 percent of the vote, totaling 25,804 votes – up by more than 1,000 votes on his total for the 2005 General Election.

Other winners are Vaz’s sister Valerie, a lawyer who won her seat of Walsall South in the West Midlands on a Labour ticket and Priti Patel, a Conservative candidate from Witham. Keith Vaz and his sister will be the first brother and sister to sit in the House of Commons at the same time.

Vaz said on May 13: “It is truly an honor to have been re-elected to represent the people of Leicester East.

I will continue to do my very best to repay the confidence and trust that people have placed in me again.

I will continue to put the needs of Leicester first and fight for what Leicester rightly deserves.

I am delighted that Valerie has been elected, she will make an excellent MP and I look forward to debating in the Commons together.”

Other NRI winning candidates are Virendra Sharma from Ealing Southall, Marsha Singh (Labour) from Bradford West, Shailesh Vara (Conser-vative) from Cambridgeshire North West, Alok Sharma (Conservative) from Reading West, and Paul Uppal (Conservative) from Wolver-hampton South West.

Paramjit Dhanda, (Labour) is a prominent NRI former Minister to lose from Gloucester constituency.

The first Muslim woman to win in the general election to the House of Commons is Shabana Mahmood, a Barrister.
She won from Birmingham Ladywood for Labour. She increased the majority of outgoing former Internatio-nal Development Secretary Clare Short from under 7,000 votes to more than 10,000 votes.

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