London: A record number of eight Indian-
origin candidates including two women have been elected to the
British parliament, setting a new record for representation of
ethnic minorities in the UK.
Prominent among them 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 per cent of the vote, totalling 25,804
votes - up by more than 1,000 votes on his total for the 2005
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 Ms 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 today, "It is truly an honour 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 int he
Other NRI winning candidates are Virendra Sharma from
Ealing Southall, Marsha Singh (Labour) from Bradford West,
Shailesh Vara (Conservative) from Cambridgeshire North West,
Aok Sharma (Conservative) from Reading West, and Paul Uppal
(Conservative) from Wolverhampton South West.
Paramjit Dhanda, (Labour) is a prominent NRI former
minister to lose from Gloucester constituency.