The 2017 United Kingdom’s general election took place on Thursday, 8 June 2017, for the 650 parliamentary constituencies. Each of the parliamentary constituencies elected one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons and the lower house of Parliament. The result of the election has sent shockwaves all over the world. The ruling conservatives unexpectedly lost their overall majority to the Labour party.
Seven elected members of the UK parliament elected to serve are of Nigerian origin. Three of them won under Theresa May’s Conservative party while the other four won under Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party.
Meet the 7 British Nigerian Members of Parliament
Chi Onwurah, Member of Parliament for Newcastle Central – Labour
Chinyelu “Chi” Susan Onwurah was born in Wallsend Newcastle in 1965. She grew up on Hillsview Avenue in Kenton and went to Kenton School. Onwurah has a first degree in Electrical Engineering from Imperial College London and an MBA from the Manchester Business School.
Her father is from Nigeria. He got married to her mother in the 50s when he was a student at the Newcastle Medical School. When she was a baby her father took them to live in Awka Anambra state in the eastern part of Nigeria but when the Biafran war broke out she, her mother and siblings returned back to Newcastle as refugees while their father remained in the Biafran Army.
Chi is a British Labour Party politician. Prior to the recent election, she was elected at the 2010 general election as the Member of Parliament for Newcastle upon Tyne Central, succeeding the previous Labour MP Jim Cousins, who decided to step down after 23 years. She is the first black MP in Newcastle. She is the current Shadow Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills, as well as Shadow Minister for Culture, Media and Sport. She was appointed to both posts in September 2015.
Fiona Onasanya, Member of Parliament for Peterborough – Labour
Fiona Onasanya is a solicitor at DC Law. She is a Labour Cambridgeshire County Councillor for King’s Hedges and deputy leader for the County group. She ousted Stewart Jackson by winning 48.1 percent of the vote compared to Jackson’s 46.8 percent.
She dreams to become Britain’s first black female prime minister.
Chuka Umunna, Member of Parliament for Streatham – Labour
Chuck Umunna is popularly known as UK Obama. He attended Hither field Primary School in Streatham, South London, and Christ Church Primary School in Brixton Hill. He received an upper second class LLB in English and French Law from the University of Manchester. He later received MA at Nottingham Law School.
He is a British MP of Nigerian heritage. He was born in London to an Igbo Nigerian father and an Irish mother. In 2010 Umunna was elected parliamentarian, representing Streatham constituency on the platform of the Labour Party. The Labour MP for Streatham was shadow business secretary 2011-15 and is a now a member of the home affairs select committee
Before his political career, he wrote for Financial Times, Tribune, The Voice, The Guardian and the New Statesman, and later launched the online political magazine, The Multicultural Politic. He made frequent commentary on British televisions and radios.
Helen Grant, Member of Parliament for Maidstone – Conservative
Helen was born in London and grew up on the Raffles council estate in Carlisle. She showed her sporting talent early in life and became captain of her school tennis and hockey teams, and representing the County in Hockey, Tennis, Athletics, and Cross-Country. She later became under-16 Judo Champion in North of England and Southern Scotland. She has a law degree a from the University of Hull. Her father is a Nigerian and her mother is a British citizen.
Helen was first elected in 2010 to represent the Parliamentary Constituency of Maidstone & the Weald. In 2012 she was appointed Joint Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice and for Women’s and Equalities issues in David Cameron’s first ministerial re-shuffle since the general election. In October 2013, she was promoted in the Prime Minister’s second reshuffle to the high profile role of Minister for Sport and Tourism. She stood down from this role after the General Election in May 2015.
Abimbola Afolami, MP Hitchin and Harpenden constituents – Conservative
He attended Bishopsgate prep school, Eton and Oxford, studying modern history and was vice president of the Oxford Union Society. He lives in Northampton and has previously contested the Lewisham Deptford seat in 2015, where he achieved 15 percent of the vote, gaining 7,056 votes in a Labour stronghold. He is described as an ‘astute public speaker’.
Afolami is a conservative politician in the parliament and a former Lawyer. Prior to his election, he worked as a senior executive at HSBC. He was a primary school governor, and a support of charities, which focus on helping people return to work. He is a former Treasurer of the Bow Group and was Vice President of the Oxford Union. He has previously worked for Howard Flight and for George Osborne.
Kemi Badenoch, Member of Parliament for Saffron Walden– Conservative
Kemi has been a member of the parliament since September 2015. She holds a degree in engineering from Sussex University and another degree in law from Birkbeck College. Her parents are Nigerians. Her maiden name is Kemi Adegoke. While growing up she lived in the United States of America and Nigeria. She is currently a board member for the Centre for the Study of British Politics and Public Life and for nine years was a non-executive director for a London housing association.
Kemi has been a member of the London Assembly since September 2015. She is the GLA Conservative’s spokesman for the Economy and also sits on the Transport Committee and Policing and Crime Committee. Kemi was a director at the Spectator Magazine. She was also an associate director at Coutts & Co.
She won Saffron Walden with near 25000 majority votes.
Kate Osamor, Member of Parliament for Edmonton – Labour
Kate Osamor is a graduate of the University of East London and Member of Parliament for Edmonton. She worked for the Big Issue, a magazine sold by homeless and long-term unemployed people. She later worked for 15 years in the National Health Service. In 2014 Kate was elected as a member of the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party and in 2015 as MP for Edmonton.
She was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for International Development. She has been particularly active in campaigns such as Women for Refugee Women’s, Set Her Free campaign to end the detention of women who seek asylum in the UK. Kate also argues for much fuller representation of Black and Ethnic Minority communities in political bodies, especially in Parliament.