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Indian origin MPs remains at 10

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keith-vazThe number of Indian-origin members in the new House of Commons following the British general elections will remain at 10, unchanged from the previous house.

All sitting MPs were re-elected bar one. Paul Uppal of the Conservative party lost in Wolverhampton South West in the West Midlands of England. 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.

“I fought a positive campaign, based on what I have achieved for the constituency and what the Conservatives have achieved in government,” Vara said.

“I am absolutely delighted. I have served them for 27 years and they have given me the huge privilege of an extension of another five,” remarked Keith Vaz.