Seven candidates of Nigerian origin elected British lawmakers

Seven candidates of Nigerian heritage have been elected into the United Kingdom parliament in the election held on Thursday. Two are representing the Conservative Party and five the Labour Party.

The winners are Chuka Umunna representing Streatham; Bim Afolami, Hitchin and Harpenden; Fiona Onasanya, Peterborough; Chi Onwurah, Newcastle; Kate Osamor, Edmonton; Kemi Badenoch, Saffron Walden; and Helen Grant, Maidstone and The Weald.

Fiona Onasanya, a first timer, beat by 607 votes the Conservative candidate, Tory Stewart Jackson, who had been Peterborough’s MP for 12 years.

She credited her Bishop for inspiring her to go into politics.

Ms. Onasanya said: “I’m just so grateful. I agree with Jeremy Corbyn that politics has changed tonight. The people know there is a better way. I think I won because people saw that their vote matters.”

Umunna, Chi Onwurah, Kate Osamor and Helen Grant were all re-elected to represent their constituencies. Helen Grant like Umunna and Onwurah was first elected in 2010. Osamor was elected in 2015 to represent Edmonton.

Kemi Badenoch and Bim Afolami are the new faces in parliament and were elected on the Conservative platform. The rest are members of the opposition Labour Party.

Badenoch, nee Adegoke, will represent Saffron Walden and has served as a London-wide member of the London Assembly since 16 September 2015 following the resignation of Victoria Borwick upon her election to the House of Commons in the 2015 general election.

She joined the Conservative Party in 2005 and since then has been active in Conservative politics. In 2010, she stood in the Dulwich and West Norwood constituency against Tessa Jowell and came third behind the Liberal Democrats.image

Two years later, Badenoch stood for the Conservatives in the London Assembly election where she was placed fifth on the London-wide list.

Bim Afolami, a corporate lawyer, will represent Hitchin and Harpenden constituency. He had stood in the Lewisham Deptford constituency in the previous 2015 general election, but did not succeed.

Mr. Afolami comes from Crowthorne, Berkshire. His father is a Nigerian consultant doctor who works for the National Health Service. He was educated at Bishopsgate School, Eton public school and Oxford University where he studied modern history. He was also vice president of the Oxford Union Society. He won by a majority of 12,000 votes.

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