Diversity and Parliament: how has Parliament changed?
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Diversity and Parliament: how has Parliament changed?

November 28, 2019

>>DAWN BUTLER: When I was first elected, there
were just two, as I say, African Caribbean women, or ‘black’. I don’t mind using the
political term ‘black’ for me, but there were two, two of us, just two. But coming in to
2015, there is a number of us now so it’s quite interesting to look around Parliament
and see other African Caribbean MPs on both sides, so not only on the Labour side but
also on the Conservative side as well. So it’s a different feeling. It’s obviously
not representative enough; there are still just 6% of Parliament who are African Caribbean
compared to about 12% of the population as a whole so we’ve still got a long way to
go but it’s nice to see diversity in Parliament.>>HERMAN OUSELEY: When I first came into the
House of Lords it was, and still is, predominantly white and male and fairly elderly. Since then,
and the process had already started when I came in 2001, there are more women, people
with disabilities and people from black and ethnic minorities than before, and that proportion
is increasing all the time. I have to say that what has been most impressive is the
quality. It is no longer, I think, a male dominant culture and it’s moving in the
right direction. So Parliament, certainly in the House of Lords, has become much more
representative and I think if the process continues, it will go on being so.>>KWASI KWARTENG: Well I was only elected
in 5 years ago, so there hasn’t been much change in the last 5 years, although there
have been some, there are different developments. I think the main thing is that we’ve got
the Scottish Nationalist Party and they now have a large proportion of the numbers of
seats that we have in Parliament and I think that’s changed the dynamic here somewhat.
Before the last election they only had 6 MPs and I knew them all whereas now they’ve
got 56 and there’s a lot of strange new faces and there’s obviously a different
agenda than was pursued in the last Parliament.>>DAVID LAMMY: I’ve been in Parliament now
15 years and Parliament has changed over the time I have been elected. There are many,
many, more women in Parliament than there were before. There are many more ethnic minorities
in Parliament than there were before, still not enough, but there are more. And I think
it’s true to say that, you know, we’ve got younger people who feel a little bit more
connected to the world outside of politics.

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