Asian MPs in the British Parliament

Courtesy of Jayantha Somasundaram of Canberra

Conservative Party candidate of Sri Lankan origin Ranil Jayawardena, who was running for election in North East Hampshire, has been elected to the UK Parliament. He had polled 35,573 votes (66%), according to UK elections results released yesterday. North East Hampshire is reportedly considered to be a safe Tory seat, which was comfortably won with a majority of over 18,000 votes in 2010. Ranil, whose parents are from Sri Lanka, has served as a local Councillor since 2008 and is Deputy Leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.

A = Ranil Jayawardana

He had been in the spotlight in the run up to the election when a rival British Parliamentary candidate from UK Independence Party (UKIP) was suspended after reportedly threatening to shoot Jayawardena. Robert Blay, who was also running for election in North East Hampshire, had told undercover Daily Mirror reporters that he was prepared to “put a bullet between the eyes” of the Conservative Party lawmaker. He added that Jayawardena had been tipped to become the country’s first Asian Prime Minister. “If this lad turns up to be our Prime Minister I will personally put a bullet in him. That’s how strong I feel about it,” he said. “I’ve got 400 years of ancestry where I live. He hasn’t got that.” A UKIP spokesman called his views “abhorrent” and said that Blay had been suspended from the party, the Telegraph reported. Jayawardena was one of four political candidates of Sri Lankan origin who had contested this year. … from the Ceylon Daily News 9/05/15

Record Number of Pakistani-origin MPs in UK polls

Pakistani-origin MPs have improved their tally in Britain’s House of Commons after the just-concluded general election with a total of 10 elected candidates, drawing level with their Indian colleagues. Earlier, there were seven Pakistani-origin MPs in the Commons. Now the figure has risen to 10, with one name common to both lists – Sajid Javid – whose father is, according to him, Indian and his mother Pakistani. The Commons’ charge was led by British-Pakistani Sajid Javid, the Conservative party’s first Muslim cabinet minister, who served as culture, media and sports secretary in Prime Minister David Cameron’s first Cabinet. Javid, whose father arrived from rural Pakistan in the 1960s and worked as a bus conductor and driver in the UK, was re-elected as Bromsgrove MP with huge 28,133 votes.

A = Sajid JavidBritish-Pakistani Sajid Javid, the Conservative party’s first Muslim cabinet minister

Earlier, there were seven Pakistani-origin MPs in the Commons. Now the figure has risen to 10, with one name common to both lists – Sajid Javid – whose father is, according to him, Indian and his mother Pakistani. “Voters have supported the Conservatives as they did not want to see the economic recovery put at risk,” he said after his win.

Other Conservatives from Pakistan to make a mark include Rehman Chisti from Gillingham and Rainham and Nurat Ghani from Wealden. However, it is the Opposition Labour which has scored the most wins – Yasmin Qureshi from Bolton South East, Shabana Mahmood from Birmingham Ladywood, Khalid Mahmood from Birmingham Perry Bar, Imran Hussain from Bradford East, Sadiq Khan from Tooting and Naseem Shah who caused one of the biggest upsets of election night by defeating favourite-to-win Respect Party MP George Galloway in Bradford West.

A = Tulip SiddiqTulip Siddiq, who is the granddaughter of Bangladesh’s founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.There was also a Scottish Pakistani who joined in the Scottish National Party’s overall success, Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh from Ochil & South Perthshire in Scotland. For British-Bangladeshis, it was mostly a Labour party sweep with Rushanara Ali holding on to her Bethnal Green & Bow seat and first-timer Rupa Huq won by a close margin in Ealing Central & Acton.  Another first-time MP, Tulip Siddiq, who is the granddaughter of Bangladesh’s founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, made history in Hampstead & Kilburn. …… from the London,  Asian Tribune 9 May 2015

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