Pakistani-origin British MPs now equal Indian counterparts – 10
With three gains as compared to their tally in the previous House of Commons, the number of Pakistani-origin MPs in the British parliament has drawn level with their Indian counterparts, whose strength remained static.
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.
Javid, a Conservative, was secretary of state for culture, media and sport in the outgoing government and is likely to be retained at the cabinet level in the new administration.
Six of the Pakistani winners belong to the Labour party, three to the Conservative party and one to the Scottish National Party. They are: Shabana Mahmood (Birmingham Ladywood), Khalid Mahmood (Birmingham Perry Barr), Yasmin Qureshi (Bolton South East), Imran Hussain (Bradford East), Rehman Chishti (Gillingham & Rainham), Nusrat Ghani (Wealden), Naseem Shah (Bradford West), Sadiq Khan (Tooting), and Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh (Ochil & South Perthshire).
All of them represent English constituencies, except for the last mentioned, who is from Scotland. Anas Sarwar, a sitting MP, lost his seat of Glasgow Central. He is the son of Mohammad Sarwar, who previously represented the same constituency and was thereafter appointed governor of the Pakistani province of Punjab by the ruling Pakitan Muslim League-Nawaz in Pakistan. He has since resigned, switching allegiance to Imran Khan’s opposition party.
South Asian representation in the Commons was further bolstered by three women of Bangladeshi origin entering the house. Rushanara Ali (Bethnal Green & Bow), a sitting member, was re-elected, while Rupa Huq (Ealing Central & Acton) and Tulip Siddiq (Hampstead & Kilburn), grand-daughter of the founder of Bangladesh Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, were elected for the first time. All three belong to Labour.
Also successful was Ranil Jayawardena, who is of Sri Lankan origin, a Conservative from Hampshire North East.
India-origin MP now remain 10, despite the defeat of Paul Uppal of the Conservative party in Wolverhampton South West. He was defeated by Rob Marris of the Labour party by a margin of 801 votes in a constituency with a large presence of Sikhs from India.
Uppal’s loss, though, was compensated by victory for Rishi Sunak, a Conservative, in Richmond in Yorkshire. This first-time MP was fighting a seat vacated by William Hague, who until last year was Britain’s foreign minister. Sunak is a son-in-law of N.R. Narayana Murthy, one of the founders of the Indian software giant Infosys.
Those who retained their seats are: Keith Vaz (Leicester East), who has been an MP from 1987; his sister Valerie Vaz (Walsall South); Virendra Sharma (Ealing Southall); Seema Malhotra (Feltham & Heston); Lisa Nandy (Wigan), who is half Indian-half English; Sajid Javid (Bromsgrove), who is half Indian-half Pakistani and was minister for culture, media and sport in the outgoing cabinet; Priti Patel (Witham), who was a junior minister; Alok Sharma (Reading West); and Shailesh Vara (Cambridgeshire North West), another junior minister who has been an MP since 2005.