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First Indian women in UK House

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London : Britain finally got its first female MPs of Indian origin as 37-year-old Ms Priti Patel won in Witham for the Conservative Party and Ms Valerie Vaz won the Walsall South seat for the Labour party on Friday.

Along with two Indian-origin female MPs, two new Indian-origin male Tory candidates were elected to Parliament. Dr Ashok Kumar, Labour MP in last Parliament, passed away in March and an Indian-origin MP Parmjit Dhanda lost the poll. The three main political parties had fielded a record 89 Asian candidates, compared to 68 in 2005.

Ms Priti Patel became the first Asian female MP for the Conservative Party with a majority of 15,162 votes. Goan-origin, Mr Valerie Vaz won by 1,755 votes as the Labour party picked up a 39.7 per cent share of the vote. Ms Vaz’s brother, Mr Keith Vaz, retained his Leicester East seat for the Labour party with a majority of 14,082 votes. They have now become first set of Indian-origin siblings to be elected to the House of Commons.

Indian-origin solicitor Mr Sailesh Vara, the lone Asian Tory MP in last Parliament, retained his Cambridgeshire North West seat with 16,677 votes. Indian-origin chartered accountant, Mr Alok Sharma, won his Reading West seat with 6,004 majority and Mr Paul Uppal, a Sikh of East African descent, managed to win his seat with 691 votes.

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