Jeremy Corbyn surrounded by diverse MPs at PMQs in Parliament
Corbyn’s diverse frontbench ‘donut’: Labour leader is flanked by women and ethnic minorities for PMQs
- Labour’s shadow cabinet is the most diverse in the British Parliament’s history
- It has a record number of ethnic minority MPs and more women than men in it
- Diversity captured by a photographer allowed into the Chamber to take pictures
Jeremy Corbyn flaunted his diverse frontbench as he was surrounded by women and ethnic minority MPs at yesterday’s Prime Minister’s Questions.
In a rare step, the Parliamentary authorities let a professional photographer take pictures of the weekly Commons showdown.
And they captured Labour’s most diverse shadow cabinet ever – with the frontbench including a record number of women and MPs from ethnic minority backgrounds.
Mr Corbyn was surrounded by a ‘donut’ of politicians whose family roots are from countries including India, Yemen, the Jamaica, and Nigeria.
And of the 14 MPs sitting closest to Mr Corbyn at the despatch box yesterday, 12 were women.
Sat diagonally behind the Labour leader was the backbencher Eleanor Smith, who made history last year by becoming the first African Caribbean MP for Labour in the West Midlands.
Jeremy Corbyn was surrounded by a ‘donut’ of politicians whose family roots are from countries including India, Yemen, the Caribbean and Africa during PMQs yesterday (pictured)
In contrast, the green benches on Theresa May’s side (pictured, yesterday in PMQs) was far less diverse – with just three other women and two MPs from ethnic minorities sitting near her
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She was elected to represent Wolverhampton South West – a seat once held by Enoch Powell, the Tory MP known for his notorious Rivers of Blood speech warning about the dangers of mass immigration.
Sat next to her was Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, who is from Slough but received most of his primary education in the Punjab, India.
While a few spots over on the green benches was Marsha de Cordova, the shadow disabilities minister who is herself registered blind.
And sat immediately next to Mr Corbyn was Dawn Butler, the shadow secretary of state for women and equalities who was born in east London to Jamaican immigrant parents.
And a few seats up was Valerie Vaz, shadow leader of the House of Commons, who was born in Aden in Yemen but whose family originated from Goa in India before moving to London.
In contrast, Theresa May’s immediate circle in the Commons yesterday was far less diverse – with just three other women and two MPs from ethnic minority backgrounds sitting near her.
The diversity of Jeremy Corbyn’s team was captured by a professional photographer yesterday, who was give the rare honour of being allowed to take pictures of the weekly Commons showdown. Cameras are usually strictly banned from the Chamber – although broadcast cameras film every debate
Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet (pictured, yesterday, during PMQs) is the most diverse in the history of the British Parliament
Mr Corbyn’s shadow cabinet is the most diverse in the history of the British Parliament.
It is the first ever to have a majority of women on it, while it has a record number of ethnic minority MPs.
While two of the four most senior shadow cabinet posts are also held by women – Diane Abbott is the shadow home secretary, while Emily Thornberry is the shadow foreign secretary.
Last year’s snap General Election saw a record number of women elected to Parliament, with 208 of the 650 MPs elected, female.
Of these women, 119 are Labour (the equivalent of 45 per cent) and 67 are Tories (21 per cent).
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