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Record number of Indian-origin MPs in UK

APD NEWS | Fri,2017-05-19

NEW DELHI, May 19 (APD)— In Britain’s last Parliament, there were 10 Indian-origin parliament members, five from the Conservative party while the other five from Labour party.

A recent report published in Hindustan Times states that in spite of a record number of Indian-origin Member of Parliament (MP) in Britain, the Indian interests were not strongly represented or supported.

According to the leading Indian daily, there is an “expectation that they have a greater understanding of India’s interests. However, there are mixed views on whether the Indian-origin MPs should defend India or not.”

UK parliament records state that since May 2015 election, India was not a significant topic of discussions. Though, Alok Sharma who was minister for Asia made an exceptional contribution, as did Keith Vaz and Virendra Sharma, who are both from the Labour party.

In this context, UK based senior community leader said, “The so-called Indian origin MPs are expected to have a better understanding of the ground situation, and ensure that vested interests do not distort Britain’s relations with India. But perhaps many of them have to prove they are not Indian”.

Dibyesh Anand a professor at the University of Westminster was quoted as explaining the situation. He said that many Indian-origin MPs focus on domestic matters. “Expecting them to defend India’s interest when the Indian government may be pursuing policies seen as majoritarian or Hindu nationalist in recent years will be expecting them to betray values of British democracy. They represent Britain and not India.”

Sunil Chopra, the former mayor of Southwark, added, “Perhaps they don’t want to upset some voters in their constituencies, and don’t defend India openly. Prime Minister Narendra Modi should also reach out to them on his global tours.”