Number of Muslim MPs doubles in British general election

The number of Muslim MPs has doubled to eight in the closest elections in decades and saw the first three Muslim women — all Labour — elected to the 650-member House of Commons, the Muslim News reports. In addition, the first Conservatives have gained their first two Muslim MPs.

Over 90 Muslim candidates of various political persuasions stood in the general election, including 22 women. Three Muslim women, all Labour, became the first to enter parliament. The first Muslim woman to win was Yasmin Qureshi winning in the Bolton South East constituency in north-west England, but by a reduced majority of more than 8,600. Shabana Mahmood increased the majority of outgoing former International Development Secretary Clare Short from under 7,000 votes to more than 10,000 in Birmingham Ladywood in central England.

With the swing from Labour to Conservatives, one of two Muslim ministers, Shahid Malik, lost his parliamentary seat by just over 1,500 votes. But Transport Minister Sadiq Khan defied the swing to retain his seat.

Nadhim Zahawi, the chief executive of online market research agency YouGov, also became the first Iraqi Kurd to become a UK MP. Zahawi is of Christian background.