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Boris secures historic victory in British elections

Top Story

December 14, 2019

LONDON: A total of 15 British Pakistanis are among 65 non-white parliamentarians elected to the 650-strong British Parliament after the general election which saw Prime Minister Boris Johnson return to power with a big majority and a bruising defeat for the Labour Party.

In the fight for 650 seats, Tories have got 364 seats, Labour 203, SNP 48, Lib Dems 12 and the Greens one.

While Labour Party lost dozens of seats to Conservatives on a swing of around 11 percent in its traditional heartlands, most of the Labour MPs of Pakistani origin have been elected again with the exception of Faisal Rasheed, the Labour MP for Warrington, who failed to retain his seat.

The victory of 15 Pakistani-origin MPs is increase of four parliamentarians in the list of 12 MPs who were members of the last Parliament and it’s also a reflection of the role 1.5 million strong Pakistani community plays in Britain. The number of Indian-origin MPs has also gone up from 12 to 15 in the new Parliament.

The winners on the Labour tickets include: Zarah Sultana, MP from Coventry South (new), by securing 19,544 votes with a narrow margin of 491 votes; Tahir Ali MP from Birmingham Hall Green (new) won easily after he got 35,889 votes; Khalid Mehmood MP from Birmingham Perry Barr received 26,594 votes; Shabana Mahmood MP from Birmingham Ladywood got 33,355 votes; Naz Shah MP from Bradford West received 33,736 votes; Imran Hussain from Bradford East secured 27,825 votes; Muhammad Yasin narrowly defended his Bedford seat and won only by 145 after securing 20,491 votes; Yasmin Qureshi from Bolton South East got 21,516 votes; Dr Rosenna Ali Khan from Tooting in London received 30,811 and Afzal Khan MP from Manchester Gorton got 34,583 votes.

The winners on the ruling Tory party ticket include: Saqib Bhatti from Meriden (new) by securing 34,358 votes; Sajid Javid from Bromsgrove got 34,408 votes, Nusrat Ghani from Wealden received 37,043 votes; Rehman Chishti from Gillingham got 28,173 and Imran Ahmed Khan from Wakefield (new) secured 21,283 votes.

The inclusion of 65 non-white MPs makes the current parliament most diverse house in British political history. The last House had 52 MPs from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Iraqi origin Nadhim Zahawi won again from Stratford upon Avon on the Tory ticket and Feryal Clark of Turkish-Kurd background (new) from Enfield North won on Labour Party.

The Indian-origin MPs on the Tory ticket include: Gagan Mohindra; Claire Coutinho; Priti Patel; Alok Sharma; Shailesh Vara; Suella Braverman; and Rishi Sunak. On the Labour benches: Navendu Mishra; Virendra Sharma; Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi; Seema Malhotra; Preet Kaur Gill; Lisa Nandy; and Valerie Vaz. Munira Wilson has won on the Liberal Democrats ticket.

Bangladeshi-origin elected MPs include: Rushnara Ali from Bethnal Green & Bow; Rupa Haq in Ealing Central & Acton; Tulip Siddiq in Hampstead and Apsana Begum (new) from Poplar & Lime House.

Most of the other MPs defended their majority comfortably but in most cases there was a significant swing to Conservatives because of the clear message of Conservatives over the issue of Brexit. While Labour’s message to voters was complicated and full of ideas, the Tory message was simple and struck chord with the ordinary people. The Tories successfully exploited the worries of people over Brexit and promised to bring change and progress by quitting the European Union by making Britain great again.

No Pakistani-origin candidate could win on the tickets of Liberal Democrats, Greens or the Brexit Party. The SNP didn’t give ticket to any Pakistani-origin candidate.

Agencies add: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed Friday to "get Brexit done" after his thumping election victory cleared the way for Britain to leave the EU after years of political paralysis.

Johnson proclaimed his triumph a political "earthquake" but while EU leaders welcomed the clear message from British voters on Brexit, they warned there was still a tough road ahead.

The main opposition Labour party suffered its worst performance since the 1930s, forcing its socialist leader Jeremy Corbyn to announce plans to step down, but Scottish Nationalists performed well, raising the prospect of another push for independence.

The pound shot up to its highest level since mid-2018 on hopes for a swift end to uncertainty over how, when -- or even if -- Britain was going to draw its often rocky five-decade involvement in the European project to a close.

Condemning more than three years of bitterly divisive political wrangling, Johnson vowed in his victory speech to "put an end to all that nonsense" and "get Brexit done on time by January 31, no ifs, no buts".

"We did it -- we pulled it off," the pro-Brexit figurehead of the original 2016 EU membership referendum told cheering supporters. "We broke the gridlock, we ended the gridlock, we smashed the roadblock."

Johnson visited Buckingham Palace on Friday to receive formal instructions from Queen Elizabeth II to form a new government.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Britain would be an economic "competitor at our door" after it leaves the EU while French President Emmanuel Macron warned against "unfair" competition.

US President Donald Trump tweeted his congratulations on a "great WIN!" and said London and Washington would be able to strike a "massive new trade deal" after Brexit.

"This deal has the potential to be far bigger and more lucrative than any deal that could be made with the EU Celebrate Boris!" he said.

The anti-Brexit Liberal Democrats also did poorly and announced they would replace Jo Swinson as leader after she lost her seat in western Scotland to the Scottish National Party (SNP).

The Lib Dems were predicted to win 11 seats, down one on the last election in 2017.

By contrast the SNP, which wants to stop Brexit and deliver an independent Scotland, gained 13 seats to reach 48. Its leader Nicola Sturgeon said her party´s strong performance reinforced her case for holding a fresh Scottish independence referendum.

Prime Minister Imran Khan also congratulated his British counterpart Boris Johnson after the latter's Conservative Party won the majority in the UK Parliament. In a tweet, Prime Minister Imran said that he looked forward to working with Johnson.