Eight Nigerians Secure Parliamentary Seats In UK Election

By Hadiza Suleman

Eight UK citizens of Nigerian descent were elected into the House of Commons following the announcement of results from the July 4 general election.

Over 30 Nigerians took part in the poll, using their respective constituencies. Out of the eight elected, six are returning members of parliament, having served in the last session of the House.

The victors include the Conservative duo of Kemi Badenoch (North West Essex), and Helen Grant (Maidstone).

Despite her victory at the poll, Badenoch, who is a frontline contender in the Tories leadership contest after the resignation of former PM Rishi Sunak, said her party must regroup and win the confidence of the people back.

“As a party, the Conservatives must come back together, look deep in our political souls, and ask some uncomfortable questions,” she said.

Four of those re-elected are from the Labour Party, namely Florence Dauta Eshalomi, Kate Osamor (Edmonton and Winchmore Hill), Chi Onwurah (Newcastle upon Tyne Central) and Taiwo Owatemi (Coventry North West).

However, Bim Afolabi, the Conservative candidate for Hitchin and Harpenden and Economic Secretary to the Treasury, lost his re-election bid after seven years in the Parliament to Labour’s Alistair Strathern.

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Two Nigerians making their first entry to Westminster are businessman-turned-politician, Bayo Alaba, who won Southend East and Rochford for Labour by a comfortable margin.

The former Parachute Regiment member got 15,395 votes against Conservative candidate Gavin Haran’s 11,368 votes.

Alaba, who is currently a councillor for the London Borough of Redbridge, said after the poll: “My biggest thanks tonight is for every person across Southend East and Rochford who put their trust in me. This will be the greatest thing of my life. I will work every day to repay the trust you put in me.”

Similarly, Josh Babarinde of Liberal Democrats, was declared the new member of parliament for Eastbourne after receiving 23,742 votes, a majority of 12,204.

Speaking after his election, Babarinde said: “Eastbourne has voted for a fresh start and it says a lot about our town that a lad from Hampden Park who looks and loves like me can stand to be Eastbourne’s member of parliament and win, win with the biggest majority here in a generation.”

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