London, May 8 : A record number of eight Indian- origin candidates including two women have been elected to the British parliament, setting a new record for representation of ethnic minorities in the UK.
Prominent among them is Keith Vaz who has been re-elected from the Leicester East constituency for the sixth time, gaining a bigger vote than ever before.
Vaz won 53.76 per cent of the vote, totalling 25,804 votes - up by more than 1,000 votes on his total for the 2005 General Election.
Other winners are Vaz’s sister Valerie, a lawyer who won her seat of Walsall South in the West Midlands on a Labour ticket and Ms Priti Patel, a Conservative candidate from Witham. Keith Vaz and his sister will be the first brother and sister to sit in the House of Commons at the same time.
Vaz said today: "It is truly an honour to have been re-elected to represent the people of Leicester East. I will continue to do my very best to repay the confidence and trust that people have placed in me again.
I will continue to put the needs of Leicester first and fight for what Leicester rightly deserves. I am delighted that Valerie has been elected, she will make an excellent MP and I look forward to debating int he Commons together."
Other NRI winning candidates are Virendra Sharma from Ealing Southall, Marsha Singh (Labour) from Bradford West, Shailesh Vara (Conservative) from Cambridgeshire North West, Alok Sharma (Conservative) from Reading West, and Paul Uppal (Conservative) from Wolverhampton South West.
Paramjit Dhanda, (Labour) is a prominent NRI former minister to lose from Gloucester constituency.