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Tories set for up to eight new MPs

(Left to right): Helen Grant, Shaun Bailey, Alok Sharma, Wilfred Emmanuel Jones, Priti Patel, Rehman Chishti and Adeela Shafi.

The Conservatives are due to gain up to eight new BME members of parliament, a big step forward on the two MPs they currently have, but somewhat short of the twenty promised by David Cameron.

By Lester Holloway

At the next general election the Tories are guaranteed to welcome Helen Grant (Maidstone and the Weald), Priti Patel (Witham) and Rehman Chishti (Gillingham and Rainham) to the Commons.

They stand a very good chance in five other seats, but will need to fight hard to win them. Wilfred Emmanuel Jones (Chippenham), Shaun Bailey (Hammersmith), Zahid Iqbal (Bradford West), Adeela Shafi (Bristol East), and Alok Sharma (Reading West) will all be aiming to win, but they will no doubt be looking nervously at the Tories narrowing poll lead.

If Cameron enjoys a good election campaign there is every reason to believe they will return between six and eight new BME MPs. The current pair, Adam Afriyie and Shailesh Vara, who were first elected in 2005 are both standing again and are all but assured of re-election.

Given the Conservatives previous lack of Black political representation, the new BME MPs will go some distance to helping Cameron re-brand his party as reflecting modern Britain.

While the next election will be historic, the fact that the Tories selection of BME candidates has enjoyed so much publicity means that the election of black and Asian MPs will be widely expected.

There is a possibility that further candidates will be selected between now and the general election, with several aspiring black and Asian politicians pushing hard to get in. There have been a larger than normal number of veteran Tory MPs announcing their retirement, and more could follow.

But the end of 2009 is a good time to take stock of how far the party has come.

The best scenario will see a maximum of ten BME Conservative MPs taking their seats. This is half the prediction made by Cameron to a committee of MPs in October, when the party leader said if he won a majority in the Commons and formed a government he would expect to see twenty BME MPs.

While he would appear to be somewhat short of that aspiration, it is undeniable that the Tories have moved forward in leaps and bounds on this issue. Overall they have 29 BME candidates so far, and the large number of talented activists coming through their ranks bodes well for the future.

CONSERVATIVE’S NEW CANDIDATES… SO FAR

Helen Grant

Seat: Maidstone and the Weald Held by: Conservatives
Chances of getting elected: Extremely High (Defending 1st Place)

Priti Patel

Seat: Witham  Held by: New seat, notional Conservative-hold
Chances of getting elected: Excellent (Defending 1st Place)

Rehman Chishti

Seat: Gillingham and Rainham  Held by: Conservatives
Chances of getting elected: Extremely High (Defending 1st Place)

Wilfred Emmanuel Jones

Seat: Chippenham  Held by: (new seat) Notionally, the Liberal Democrats
Chances of getting elected: Very High (Notionally in 2nd Place, tight marginal)

Shaun Bailey

Seat: Hammersmith  Held by: Labour
Chances of getting elected: High (Currently 2nd Place)

Zahid Iqbal

Seat: Bradford West   Held by: Labour (Marsha Singh defending)
Chances of getting elected: High (Currently 2nd Place)

Adeela Shafi

Seat: Bristol East  Held by: Labour
Chances of getting elected: High (Currently 2nd Place)

Alok Sharma

Seat: Reading West  Held by: Labour (Naz Sarkar defending)

Chances of getting elected: High (Currently 2nd Place)

Andrew Charalambous

Seat: Edmonton   Held by: Labour
Chances of getting elected: Very slim (Currently 2nd Place)

Seema Kennedy

Seat: Ashton Under Lyme   Held by: Labour
Chances of getting elected: Very Slim (Currently 2nd Place)

Kamran Ghafoor

Seat: Oldham West and Royton   Held by: Labour
Chances of getting elected: Very slim (Currently 2nd Place)

Gurcharan Singh

Seat: Ealing Southall   Held by: Labour (Virendra Sharma defending)
Chances of getting elected: Very Slim (Currently 3rd Place)

Annesley Abercorn

Seat: Hazel Grove   Held by: Liberal Democrats
Chances of getting elected: Very Slim (Currently 2nd Place)

Neil Mahapatra
Seat: Sedgefield  Held by: Labour
Chances of getting elected: None (Currently 2nd Place)

Jasbir Parmar
Seat: Warley   Held by: Labour
Chances of getting elected: None (Currently 2nd Place)

Deborah Thomas

Seat: Twickenham  Held by: Liberal Democrats
Chances of getting elected: None (Currently 2nd Place)

Kemi Adegoke
Seat: Dulwich and West Norwood    Held by: Labour
Chances of getting elected: None / Battle for 2nd Place (Currently 3rd Place)

Norsheen Bhatti
Seat: Stoke on Trent Central   Held by: Labour
Chances of getting elected: None / Battle for 2nd Place (Currently 3rd Place)

Gagan Mohindra
Seat: North Tyneside   Held by: Labour
Chances of getting elected: None / Battle for 2nd Place (Currently 3rd Place)

Loanna Morrison
Seat: Bermondsey and Old Southwark   Held by: Liberal Democrats
Chances of getting elected: None / Battle for 2nd Place (Currently 3rd Place)

Simon Nayyar
Seat: Hackney South and Shoreditch   Held by: Labour
Chances of getting elected: None / Battle for 2nd Place (Currently 3rd Place)

Kashif Ali
Seat: Oldham East and Saddleworth   Held by: Labour
Chances of getting elected: None (Currently 3rd Place)

Rahoul Bhansali
Seat: Streathan  Held by: Labour (Chuka Umunna defending)
Chances of getting elected: None (Currently 3rd Place)

Mudasir Dean
Seat: Rochdale  Held by: Liberal Democrats
Chances of getting elected: None (Currently 3rd Place)

Shailesh Parekh
Seat: Birmingham Hodge Hill   Held by: Labour
Chances of getting elected: None (Currently 3rd Place)

Suhail Rahuja
Seat: Manchester Central   Held by: Labour
Chances of getting elected: None (Currently 3rd Place)

Sachin Rajput
Seat: Brent Central   Held by: New seat, notionally Labour
Chances of getting elected: None (Currently 3rd Place)

Mohammed Riaz
Seat: Bradford East   Held by: Labour
Chances of getting elected: None (Currently 3rd Place)

Davena Rankin
Seat: Glasgow South   Held by: Labour
Chances of getting elected: None (Currently 4th Place)

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2 Responses

  1. Thank you for your post on potential Conservative MPs. Just to say that the photo you have shown depicting me is not of me!

    You can pick up a head and shoulders photo from our website. Many thanks, alok

  2. David Cameron has gone on record on national television saying that he is aiming to have 12 black Conservative MP’s after the next General Election. He said further, that it was still not good enough but it was a start. I have not heard anything remotely comparable from anyone in a leadership position in the Labour Party. The real test will be not simply having 12 black Conservative MP’s but how their talents are used in the leadership and development of the Conservative Party. To be credible, black members cannot remain simply the foot soldiers.

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