Britain’s black and minority ethnic politicians: The next generation

This is a Parliament Week event organised by the PSA to celebrate Britain’s BME people in Parliament. In keeping with the particular ‘Women and democracy’ theme this year it will focus on the contribution of women in highlighting the relevance of politics and political studies to younger Britons of a diversity of backgrounds.

Britain today is a state where the social demography is undergoing rapid transformation. The 2011 census shows us that nearly 20 per cent of the population do not describe themselves as ‘White British’ and that over 14 per cent belong to ‘non-white’ ethnic groups or are of mixed ethnic heritage. Yet, as is often the case, the political demography is slow to change; 27 MPs of at least partly Asian or African origin were returned to the House of Commons in the 2010 election. Even though this is more than six times as many as in 1987, when the first four non-white MPs in modern times were elected,  BME MPs make up only just over 4 per cent of the House of Commons’ total membership of 650 and 5 per cent of that of the House of Lords. If political Britain is to really represent the face of 21st century Britain this will have to change.

Britons of black and minority ethnic (BME) background are engaging with political life through voting and becoming actively involved in local and national politics in greater numbers than ever before but they need to see that they can do so effectively. In their diverse backgrounds and politics, the 17 male and 10 female BME MPs and over 40 peers (a third of them women), as well as the staff of Parliament, reflect something of the kaleidoscope of the changing face of modern Britain.

The format will be a round table discussion including Diane Abbott (Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington), Helen Grant (Conservative MP for Maidstone and the Weald and Joint Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice and Women’s & Equalities issues) and Meral Hussein-Ece, Baroness Hussein-Ece of Highbury (Liberal Democrat peer).

To book a place at this event, please contact Louise Bates; 020 7330 9288