‘Delight’ at Westminster diversity
Election results praised by charity chief
The founder of a campaigning charity in Bradford has congratulated the new wave of MPs from ethnic minority backgrounds taking seats in Parliament following last week’s elections results.
Dr Mohammed Ali OBE, chief executive of the QED Foundation, says the House of Commons is more diverse than ever before, with newly elected black, Chinese and Asian members helping to reflect the racial make-up of the general population.
The number of ethnic minority MPs has statistically jumped from 27 to 41 meaning six per cent of the total seats available are held by the mixed demographics.
“We are delighted that the voices of people from different cultural backgrounds will increasingly be heard in Westminster,” Dr Ali said. “However, their success should not make us complacent.
“The 2011 census shows that 19.5 per cent of the population are not from a white British background. There is still a long way to go before our MPs are truly representative of the UK population.”
Bradford-based QED Foundation has been campaigning for the inclusion of people from ethnic minority backgrounds in all aspects of public life since 1990.
In recent years the charity has shown particular concern about the underrepresentation among policy makers and at senior levels in the private, public and third sectors.
In the 2010 elections, just 27 non-white MPs won seats in Westminster, which, despite being a much lower figure than last week’s results, is still a huge increase on 1987 when they held only four.
Dr Ali added that the dramatic rise in 2015 had been partly due to political parties fielding ethnic minority candidates in constituencies that they had a reasonable chance of winning.
Now the QED Foundation is calling on businesses, public sector organisations and charities to follow suit and make the most of the skills and experience of talented staff from a range of cultural backgrounds.