Two departing MPs, Shahid Malik and Dawn Butler, offer the new BME MPs their words of advice.
This week, hundreds of new MPs will be undertaking their induction into the House of Commons, securing new offices and making themselves familiar with the physical structure of Parliament.
Many of the 26 elected BME MPs will be a part of that process, and for a number of them, it will be an entirely new experience.
Chi Onwurah, Chuka Umunna, Rushanara Ali, Priti Patel, Helen Grant, Kwasi Kwarteng and Sam Gyimah are just some of the new BME MPs finding their way in the new Parliament.
Two departing MPs, Shahid Malik and Dawn Butler, welcomed the increase in representation by BME MPs and reminded the new Parliamentarians of their duty to their constituents.
Shahid Malik, the ousted MP for Dewsbury said: “It’s a great result. We’ve got a more reflective parliament than ever before and that’s got to be healthy for our democracy.
The new MPs are in a strange position now. Usually when you start a new life, you want everything to be stable. They are coming in and its volatile- it’s a difficult time for them.”
He continued: “The core message for them, the one thing I always believed, is that I am here to represent the people who elected me- they must never forget that.”
I’ve taken that part of my job very seriously. It’s not about Westminster- there’s an equal part in the constituency and they have to give people faith in democracy.”
Dawn Butler who lost her fight for the newly created seat of Brent Central said: “My advice would be to focus on three things you care passionately about and pursue them to the maximum. Be loyal to your constituents and be more than just a politician, be a community champion.”
She added: “And never forget the progress our country has made over the last 13 years.”
By Dominic Bascombe
Filed under: Black (BME) Politicians |