UK Conservative Party wants Bangladesh-origin MP

Aditi Khanna, London
Published : 06:00, Aug 10, 2018 | Updated : 06:00, Aug 10, 2018

Conservative Party HQBritain’s ruling Conservative Party wants to encourage people from the British Bangladeshi community to enter mainstream politics, for the party to get its first MP with roots in Bangladesh.
Anne Main, Conservative Party MP for St Albans in the north of London, said it was about time for a British Bangladeshi Tory MP in the House of Commons. The President of the Conservative Friends of Bangladesh (CFOB) and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Bangladesh said it was important to address the community’s under-representation in UK politics.
She said: “What we need is a British Bangladeshi Conservative MP. For too long the Bangladeshi community has been under-represented and it is about time that changed.”
She called on more Bangladeshi-origin politicians to stand in local and general elections and “speak up for the many shared values that the Conservative party and the Bangladeshi community here in the UK have”.
While there are three MPs of Bangladeshi-origin in the Commons — Tulip Siddiq, Rushanara Ali and Rupa Huq — they are all from the Opposition Labour Party.
Addressing a recent COFB annual dinner in London, Main reiterated common ground between the core principles of Conservatism – hard work, duty to others and prosperity for all – being shared by the Bangladeshi community. The CFOB was created around 12 years ago to build closer links between the Bangladeshi diaspora and the Tories through political activism and humanitarian support. The group has been engaged in a number of social action projects in Bangladesh, most recently in September last year to help with efforts to support the country in tackling the Rohingya refugee crisis.
Main added: “It is incredible how much this organisation [CFOB] has grown over the years. The hard work all across the country has been vital in securing the party votes and building an ever closer relationship with British Bangladeshis and the Conservative Party.”
CFOB members took on over 200 campaigning sessions across 60 constituencies during the June 2017 General Election. While the Bangladeshi community has traditionally been more inclined towards the Labour party, there has been a shift among the younger generation towards to Conservatives. Operation Black Vote (OBV), a leading advocacy group for wider representation of the black and minority ethnic (BME) communities in British politics, had found in the lead up to the last general election that the Tories could seal a comprehensive victory by winning over more BME citizens. According to the analysis, which way the BME vote goes has a big impact on the final poll tally.
“We are the most recognised organisation within the Conservative Party and we’ve made a lasting impression thanks to our 400 members who have been instrumental in their support. I would urge more people to join the CFOB family to help improve the lives of the less fortunate,” said CFOB Chairman Mehfuz Ahmed.