British Asians in politics of the United Kingdom

British Asians in politics of the United Kingdom

British Asians have played a large role in the recent politics of the United Kingdom. People from the Indian subcontinent have had a role in the politics of the United Kingdom, starting from the British educated Indians who struggled for independence as well as Indians who became Members of Parliament. Second- and third- generation British Asians have managed to become involved in politics at trade union, local and national level.

British Asians in Parliament

British Asians have also made an impact on the parliament of the United Kingdom. The first Asian Member of Parliament (MP) was Dadabhai Naoroji in 1892. He was quickly followed by fellow Parsis Mancherjee Bhownagree and Shapurji Saklatvala during the late 19th/early 20th centuries.

No other British Asian MP was elected until Keith Vaz was elected to the House of Commons in 1987. He was followed by others such as Piara Khabra, Niranjan Deva, Parmjit Dhanda,Swaraj Paul, Mohammad Sarwar (the first British Muslim MP), Khalid Mahmood and Parmjit Singh Gill. The first British-born Muslims to be elected to Parliament were Shahid Malik and Sadiq Khan in 2005, both of Asian descent.

Several British Asians have also been awarded peerages to sit in the House of Lords, including Lord Desai, Baroness Uddin, Lord Alli, Lord Bilimoria, Lord Dholakia and Baroness Dunn (who, in a British English context is not Asian, but Oriental or Chinese).

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