Eight British-Nigerians win parliamentary seats in UK poll

A record eight United Kingdom (UK) politicians of Nigerian origin have been elected into the House of Commons following the announcement of results from the July 4 general election.

Leader of the Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer, has become the Prime Minister of the UK following his party’s remarkable victory, ending the 14-year rule of the Conservative Party.

Notably, Thursday’s election delivered the most diverse parliament in the country’s history, with a notable increase in the number of members of parliament of ethnic minorities.

About 30 Nigerians participated as candidates in the poll, representing their various constituencies. Out of the eight elected, six are returning members of parliament, having served in the last session of the House.

Those who won re-election are the Conservative duo of Kemi Badenoch (North West Essex), Helen Grant (Maidstone).

Despite her victory at the poll, Badenoch, who is a frontline contender in the Tories leadership contest after the resignation of former PM Rishi Sunak, said her party must regroup and win the confidence of the people back.

“As a party, the Conservatives must come back together, look deep in our political souls, and ask some uncomfortable questions,” she said.

Four of those re-elected are from the Labour Party, namely Florence Dauta Eshalomi, Kate Osamor (Edmonton and Winchmore Hill), Chi Onwurah (Newcastle upon Tyne Central) and Taiwo Owatemi (Coventry North West).

However, Bim Afolabi, the Conservative candidate for Hitchin and Harpenden and Economic Secretary to the Treasury, lost his re-election bid after seven years in the Parliament to Labour’s Alistair Strathern.

Two Nigerians making their first entry to Westminster are businessman-turned-politician, Bayo Alaba, who won Southend East and Rochford for Labour by a comfortable margin.

The former Parachute Regiment member got 15,395 votes against Conservative candidate Gavin Haran’s 11,368 votes.

Alaba, who is currently a councillor for the London Borough of Redbridge, said after the poll: “My biggest thanks tonight is for every person across Southend East and Rochford who put their trust in me.

“This will be the greatest thing of my life. I will work every day to repay the trust you put in me.”

Similarly, Josh Babarinde of Liberal Democrats was declared the new member of parliament for Eastbourne after receiving 23,742 votes, a majority of 12,204.

Speaking after his election, Babarinde said: “Eastbourne has voted for a fresh start and it says a lot about our town that a lad from Hampden Park who looks and loves like me can stand to be Eastbourne’s member of parliament and win, win with the biggest majority here in a generation.”

Badenoch, others jostle for Rishi Sunak’s seat

With Rishi Sunak stepping down as Conservative Party leader following his party’s drubbing in the General Election, talk has already turned to who could replace him.

The former Prime Minister today announced he will stay in his place until his successor is appointed later this year.

But following huge losses for the Tories, a dozen top Cabinet ministers have lost their seats – meaning Penny Mordaunt and other possible runners have been knocked out of the race before it even started.

The surviving favourites include darlings of the right such as Kemi Badenoch and Priti Patel, while more centrist voices like Jeremy Hunt and Tom Tugendhat would be considered realistic contenders if they threw their hats in the ring.

Ms Braverman, his former home secretary, has not wasted any time to show she is ready to launch a leadership bid during her speech after winning the Fareham and Waterlooville seat.

Suella Braverman used her victory speech to launch her bid for the Tory leadership.

Senior Tory figures – including a record number of Cabinet ministers – lost their seats in an election bloodbath 

She vowed to ‘rebuild trust’ and apologised for her party’s failings, declaring: “I’m sorry that my party didn’t listen to you. The Conservative Party has let you down.

“You, the great British people, voted for us over 14 years and we did not keep our promises. I will do everything in my power to rebuild trust. We need to listen to you, you have spoken to us very clearly”.

Ms Braverman is fourth favourite to be the next Tory leader, according to bookmakers.

Ms Badenoch is favourite, followed by Ms Patel and Mr Tugendhat. James Cleverly, who held his Essex seat.

The bruising election result risks making the contest especially acrimonious, as rival ideological factions thrash it out to define the future of their party.

Tinubu congratulates Starmer on UK election victory

President Bola Tinubu yesterday congratulated the leader of the Labour Party in the United Kingdom (UK), Sir Keir Starmer, on his party’s victory in the country’s general election.

In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, President Tinubu praised Starmer’s determination and courage throughout his time in opposition and as Labour leader, noting that the party’s ability to reform and position itself for victory after 14 years demonstrates Starmer’s strong leadership qualities.

President Tinubu also congratulated the citizens and government of the United Kingdom, highlighting the country’s strong democratic model and long-standing partnership with Nigeria.

He expressed his desire to strengthen relations between the two nations, particularly in areas of mutual interest, democratic institutions, and building a safer and more prosperous future for both countries.

“President Bola Tinubu extends his warm congratulations to Sir Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour Party, on the victory of his party in the United Kingdom general election.

“As a former leader of the opposition in Nigeria, President Tinubu specially notes the determination and courage the incoming Prime Minister of the United Kingdom demonstrated throughout his years in the opposition and as the leader of the Labour Party.

“The President states that the party’s ability to reform, mobilise and position itself for victory after 14 years clearly affirms the leadership qualities of Sir Starmer.

“President Tinubu also congratulates the citizens and the government of the United Kingdom, describing the Kingdom as an abiding model of democracy and Nigeria’s long-standing partner.

“The President looks forward to deepening relations between Nigeria and the United Kingdom in mutual areas of interest and in strengthening democratic institutions, as well as in building a safer and more prosperous future for the people of both countries,” the statement said.

Source: The Nation


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