Trivia question: The 1987 general election was held 35 years ago this weekend when four black and minority ethnic Labour MPs were elected for the first time in modern history. Who were they?

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Answer: Diane Abbott, Paul Boateng, Bernie Grant and Keith Vaz.

@robert Are those the first visible minority MPs in the UK? Canada's first Asian (Chinese) MP was elected in 1957; our first black MP was elected in 1968.

Both were #Tories .


@mpjgregoire depends on how one defines a minority I suppose. But in the UK that tends to be BAM, which as the acronym suggested gives primacy to Black and Asian.

For those minorities, and to the best of my knowledge, those four were the first. But would be happy if someone can attest to earlier candidates.

@robert @mpjgregoire We had at least one much earlier minority MP - the C19th Liberal MP Dadabhai Naoroji, elected 1892, is the one that springs to mind.

Also, earlier than that, Lionel de Rothschild (Liberal) was the first Jewish parliamentarian, which definitely counts as visible minority ethnicity. The Conservative PM Benjamin Disraeli was ethnically but not religiously Jewish, too.

@JubalBarca @robert Dadabhai Naoroji, MP, in 1892? I had no idea.

Well, Jews are a minority, though personally I wouldn't say that they are a visible minority. I see that the first Jewish MP [0] in Canada predates the founding of the current state, Selim Franklin of BC in 1859.

[0] Maybe an MLA, rather than an MP; I'm not sure what he would have called as there was no Parliament of Canada at the time.

#canpol #bcpol

@mpjgregoire @robert I disagree strongly re visibility - anti-Semitism has often been predicated on visible physical characteristics (which is the point that matters re social positions of visible minorities, the q is not "can you accurately visually tell if person X is of group Y" but "do popularly associated physical traits become racialised markers", and the latter is true).

Naoroji is well worth reading about, anyhow - fascinating character & v important in developing anti-colonial ideas.

@robert Let me correct myself. I see that before Mr. Jung in 1957, Pierre Delorme and Angus McKay, indigenous Canadians, were elected as MPs in 1871.

#Tories again.

That's what I get for relying on Wikipedia.


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