Mishra, Mohindra tipped to win Dec 12 polls, boost number of UK Indian MPs
Labour’s Navendu Mishra and Conservative Gagan Mohindra are tipped to win the December 12 election and join the cohort of British Indian MPs in the House of Commons that has grown from one in 1987 to 12 in the 2017 election.
Mishra, whose parents hail from Uttar Pradesh, is the Labour candidate in its stronghold of Stockport, while Mohindra is the Conservative candidate in South West Hertfordshire, which was held by former justice secretary David Gauke, who was expelled from the party.
The 2017 election saw the election of 12 MPs of Indian origin from Conservative and Labour parties, up from one in 1987, when Keith Vaz was elected from Leicester East. The December 12 election is likely to see an increase in the number.
Mishra contested the 2017 election unsuccessfully from the neighbouring constituency of Hazel Grove, but is now standing from the safe seat of Stockport, which was held by Ann Coffey, who earlier this year left the party in protest against the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.
Mishra said: “My mother was born in Gorakhpur; my father in Kanpur. I originally got involved in the Labour party after the 2010 general election and have been active in the party ever since. I served as the election agent for Hazel Grove Labour party in the 2015 election, and learnt a lot about the political process”.
“I have lived in Hazel Grove for many years. In addition, I am a known Labour activist in our constituency as well as Greater Manchester and the wider North West region”, Mishra, who was backed by trade unions in the candidate selection process, added.
Mishra is also backed by Momentum, the influential grassroots organisation supporting Corbyn, besides senior party leaders such as shadow chancellor John McDonnell and Angela Rayner. He is also a member of the party’s national executive committee.
Mohindra is a member of Essex County Council and Epping Forest District Council and the county council’s cabinet member for finance, property and housing. He is also a member of the Conservative Friends of India, a lobby group within the party.
Claire Coutinho, advisor to Rishi Sunak, chief secretary to the treasury, is the Conservative candidate in East Surrey, while Sanjoy Sen will seek to challenge Labour in Alyn and Deeside in Wales. Kishan Devani (Liberal Democrats) has an uphill task to topple Conservatives in Montgomeryshire.
Indian-origin MPs in the dissolved parliament are likely to be re-elected: Labour’s Virendra Sharma (Ealing Southall), Lisa Nandy (Wigan), Valerie Vaz (Walsall South), Seema Malhotra (Feltham and Heston), Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi (Slough) and Preet Kaur Gill (Birmingham Edgbaston)
Also seeking re-election are Conservative Shailesh Vara (North West Cambridgeshire), Alok Sharma (Reading West), Priti Patel (Witham), Rishi Sunak (Richmond, Yorkshire) and Suella Braverman (Fareham).
Not putting up an Indian-origin candidate in Leicester East to replace Vaz has caused some anger within Labour. The Labour Friends of India lobby group has also criticised the non-selection of Indian-origin candidates in other seats, cautioning the party leadership not to take the support of the community for granted.