Indian-origin candidates across both the Conservative and Labour parties on Friday registered strong results in the UK's General Election, with around a dozen MPs retaining their seats alongside some new faces.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson clinched an emphatic victory in Thursday's election, setting the UK on course for an exit from the European Union (EU) in the New Year.
All the Indian-origin MPs from the previous Parliament were successful in clinching their seats, with Gagan Mohindra and Claire Coutinho for the Conservative Party and Navendru Mishra for Labour among the first-timers.
"Time to Get Brexit Done and get on with investing in our schools, hospitals and police to keep our streets safe," said Goan-origin Coutinho, in reference to the central Conservative Party message, which clearly resonated with the voters in the polls.
She won the Surrey East Tory-held seat polling 35,624 votes, with an impressive majority of 24,040 for the party.
Thank you to everyone in East Surrey who chose to put their faith in me & the Conservative party.— Claire Coutinho (@ClaireCoutinho) December 13, 2019
I am deeply honoured & look forward to serving all in East Surrey with dedication and care.
Truly honoured to be the East Surrey candidate for @Conservatives @BorisJohnson. Time to #GetBrexitDone and get on with investing in our schools, hospitals and police to keep our streets safe. @EastSurreyCons @eastsurreyyc pic.twitter.com/0qKhK0osvv— Claire Coutinho (@ClaireCoutinho) November 12, 2019
Mohindra also won his Hertfordshire South West seat decisively with 30,327 votes and a majority of 14,408.
The other Tories to return to the Commons with comfortable wins include Priti Patel, the former UK homes secretary who is likely to remain in Johnson's top team in the new Cabinet as well.
“This has been a hard-fought election in a very cold time of the year because we needed a functioning Conservative majority,” said Patel, who polled 32,876 votes at her Witham constituency in Essex and held on to a majority of 24,082 for the party.
“We are committed to deliver on priorities and getting Brexit done is a priority. The deal is there, we want to move forward,” she said.
THANK YOU to voters in the #Witham constituency for re-electing me as your Member of Parliament. I will continue to be your strong voice, standing up for all communities across the entire constituency.— Priti Patel (@patel4witham) December 13, 2019
Her fellow Cabinet colleagues in the previous Johnson-led government also had a good night, with Rishi Sunak – the son-in-law of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy – clinching 36,693 votes, marking a majority for the Tories of 27,210.
The result is in - Rishi Sunak retains his Richmond (Yorks) parliamentary seat.— Hambleton District Council (@HambletonDC) December 13, 2019
Alok Sharma, the former international development minister, polled 24,393 votes to win from Reading West.
Delighted to have been re-elected in #ReadingWest. A heartfelt thank you to my constituents for once again putting their faith in me - I will continue to work hard for you. Huge thanks also to my fab team - ❤️ you all to bits! #GeneralElection2019 #GetBrexitDone #BackBoris— Alok Sharma (@AlokSharma_RDG) December 13, 2019
Shailesh Vara won his North West Cambridgeshire seat with a solid majority of 25,983, polling 40,307 votes and Goan-origin Suella Braverman clinched Fareham with 36,459 votes, registering a majority of 26,086.
Delighted and humbled to be re-elected to Parliament by the wonderful people of North West Cambridgeshire with a record majority of 25,983 and record vote share of 62.5 per cent. Deeply privileged and honoured. Thank you.— Shailesh Vara MP (@ShaileshVara) December 13, 2019
The pro-Brexit MP thanked her constituency team for its “unstinting support” and hard work.
“Great teamwork in the rain, the cold and the dark! All patriots who want to Get Brexit Done with Boris Johnson,” she tweeted soon after the result was declared.
Thank you @FarehamTories @Conservatives for your unstinting support. Great teamwork in the rain, the cold and the dark! All patriots who want to #GetBrexitDone with @BorisJohnson #GE2109 pic.twitter.com/cVkjQmKaa4— Suella Braverman (@SuellaBraverman) December 13, 2019
The Opposition Labour Party had a disastrous night overall, losing key seats in its heartlands in the north, but for all the Indian-origin MPs from the last Parliament there was a reason to celebrate.
Navendru Mishra bagged 21,695 votes to clinch the Stockport seat and become a first-time MP for the party. Preet Kaur Gill, who had made history in the last election as the first British Sikh female MP, was re-elected from Birmingham Edgbaston with 21,217 votes.
Thank you to the people of #Birmingham #Edgbaston for re- electing me and a huge thank you to all those that made it possible. I am honoured and humbled that you have put your faith in me to be your voice again both locally and in Parliament. I will work tirelessly. pic.twitter.com/8MGt1Sb2rM— Preet Kaur Gill (@PreetKGillMP) December 13, 2019
Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, the first turbaned Sikh MP, will also return to the Commons with an impressive 13,640 majority, having polled 29,421 votes from Slough in south-east England and beating Tory Indian-origin rival Kanwal Toor Gill.
Immensely grateful to the good people of #Slough for having again bestowed their faith in me.— Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi (@TanDhesi) December 13, 2019
I won’t let you down and will be a strong, solid voice for you in Parliament and beyond.
Thanks to #Labour activists, family and friends who campaigned tirelessly to help re-elect me. 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/WCzIzqmh5L
Veteran MP Virendra Sharma, who had been under pressure by forces within his own party, had a comfortable win from Ealing Southall with 25,678 votes.
The others holding on to their seats included Lisa Nandy who won Wigan with 21,042 votes and Seema Malhotra clinched Feltham and Heston with 24,876 votes.
On a very tough night, thank you Wigan. pic.twitter.com/jrBWWxw6A2— Lisa Nandy (@lisanandy) December 13, 2019
Thank you to the voters of Feltham and Heston for re-electing me as the Member of Parliament and to all who voted in the election despite the weather. Your trust means so much and with much to do across the constituency and in Parliament, our work starts tomorrow.— Seema Malhotra (@SeemaMalhotra1) December 13, 2019
Valerie Vaz, the sister of scandal-hit former MP Keith Vaz who had stepped down ahead of the election, held on to her Walsall South seat with 20,872 votes, beating Indian-origin Tory candidate Gurjit Bains.
The far-right Brexit Party, which had fielded a number of Indian-origin candidates, failed to make a dent in the election, which marked the biggest win for the Conservatives since the 1980s.