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Record number of Muslims elected in UK; Election ends in hung Parliament

Saturday June 10, 2017 1:18 AM, Agencies

Tasmeena Sheikh
[Tasmeena Sheikh of Scottish National Party (SNP) and Scotland's first Muslim woman MP has lost her seat to Conservatives. ]

A total of 16 Muslims, including a dozen British Pakistanis, have won UK Parliamentary elections to become members of the House of Commons on mainly Labour and Conservative tickets.

According to The Muslim News, 79 Muslims contested the UK General Elections held on June 8. They are spread across the country in 66 different constituencies, including at 10 where at least two of the runners are Muslim.

In Bradford West, there are as many as four Muslim candidates contesting for the same seat and at Ilford South three.

Over 40 men and women of Pakistani origin took part in the snap General Elections and 12 have secured their place in the Westminster Palace: Nine from Labour and three from Conservatives, according to The News.

In comparison to 2015 Parliament when 9 MPs won elections, the number has now reached 12.

Khalid Mehmood, Shabana Mehmood, Rozeena-Allin Khan, Yasmin Qureshi, Naz Shah, Imran Hussain, Afzal Khan, Mohammed Yasin and Faisal Rasheed from Labour have all secured their spots in Westminster.

Sajid Javed, Nusrat Ghani and Rehman Chishti from Conservatives have defended their respective constituencies successfully.

Other Muslims who made their way into UK Parliament include Bangaldeshi origin Roshanara Ali of Labour from Bethnal Green, Rupa Huq from Ealing, Tulip Siddique from Hampstead and Lib Dem's Palestinian origin Layla Moran.

Among the prominent losers, Tasmeena Sheikh of Scottish National Party (SNP) and Scotland's first Muslim woman MP, has lost her seat to Conservatives.

No other Pakistani origin candidate from other political parties or independent could make it to the hung Parliament.

In the run up to the polls, Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has identified as many as 39 constituencies where Muslims were in a position to infulence the election result.

Number of Muslim contesting the 2017 UK elections was down on the record 94 who stood in 2015. On party basis, the Tories fielded only nine Muslim candidates as opposed to 19 in 2015 and the Lib Dems fielded 14 against 24 two years ago.

Of the three main parties, only Labour has increased the number of its Muslim candidates from 22 to 24.

Going by the overall result, the UK General election has ended in a hung Parliament. But, Prime Minister Theresa May said she will put together a government with the support of the Democratic Unionists to guide the UK through crucial Brexit talks - a move criticised by the Labour saying they are the "real winners", according to BBC.

The Lib Dems said Theresa May should be "ashamed" of carrying on.

But, Prime Minister May speaking after visiting Buckingham Palace said only her party had the "legitimacy" to govern, despite falling eight seats short of a majority.

The Tories needed 326 seats to win another majority but, with 649 out of the 650 seats declared, they fell short (318 seats) and must rely on the DUP to continue to rule.


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