Four British-Nigerians were elected into the United Kingdom parliament in the just concluded general election in the country that saw the Conservative Party winning an unexpected sweeping majority.
While three of them were re-elected, one was a first-time parliamentarian.
The winners include, fast-rising politician and current Shadow Business Secretary, Chuka Umunna, 36, who was re-elected on the platform of the Labour party from Streatham constituency, London; Helen Grant, 46, was re-elected to represent the Maidstone and The Weald constituency in Kent.
In 2010, she became the first black Conservative black Member of Parliament (MP) after she replaced then incumbent, Ann Widdecombe, who stepped down as an MP. Ms Grant is the current UK Minister of Sports, Tourism and Equalities. She is also the first black woman selected to defend a Tory (as the Conservatives are also known) seat.
Others include, Chi Onwurah, 50, of the Labour Party representing Newcastle. She became Newcastle’s first black MP when she was elected in 2010. The first-time MP is Kate Osamor, the Labour Party candidate of Edmonton. She won the Labour ticket from another Nigerian, Kate Anolue. Ms Osamor has worked with the NHS for 15 years and is a well known trade unionist and member of the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee.
A gale of resignations
Meanwhile, the widespread victory of the Tories has elicited a gale of resignation among opposition parties’ leaders. Those who have announced their resignations are Ed Miliband of Labour, Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats and Nigel Farage of UK Independent party, Ukip.
According to the Financial Times, Labour’s performance during the election was the party’s worse defeat since Margret Thatcher’s victory in 1987.
“This is not a speech I wanted to make. I take absolute and total responsibility for the result,” said Mr Miliband, while announcing his resignation on Friday.
Labour won just 232 parliamentary seats, 25 less than it achieved at the last general election under Gordon Brown’s leadership.
Also, Mr Clegg, Britain Deputy Prime Minister, described the defeat of his party as “unkind” and crushing”.
“Clearly the results have been immeasurably more crushing and unkind than I could ever have feared,” Mr Clegg told a news conference.
“I must take responsibility, and therefore I announce that I will be resigning as leader of the Liberal Democrats. A leadership election will now take place according to the party’s rules.”
Though Mr Clegg retained his seat in parliament, his party won only eight seats 49 short of the seats it won in 2010.
Nigel Farage resigns on Friday as leader of Ukip after losing his bid for the South Thanet seat. Mr Farage says this is in fulfilment of his promise to resign if unsuccessful. He however said he might re-contest for the party’s leadership after the summer break in September. Mr. Farage lost to Conservative candidate, Craig Mackinlay, who took 18,838 votes.
Ukip won just one seat in the UK.
With 11,334,920 votes, David Cameron’s Conservative party won 40 per cent of the entire votes cast, giving it an overwhelming majority. The party won 331 seats in total, 24 seats more than it did in 2010.
Mhairi Black, a 20-year-old Political Science student pulled the biggest upset in the election when he beat a top Labour party candidate in Scotland to emerged the youngest MP in the history of the country since 1667.
Ms Black, pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP), candidate for Paisley and Renfrewshire South, a constituency outside Glasgow, defeated Douglas Alexander, Labour’s election chief and a former Cabinet minister.