David Cameron and Harriet Harman pay tribute to ‘most diverse’ Parliament
Prime Minister David Cameron and acting Labour leader Harriet Harman have both paid tribute to the most diverse House of Commons of all time.
The pair both hailed the record diversity in the Commons today, as the House sat for the first time to re-elect Speaker John Bercow.
Mr Cameron said: “I’m particularly pleased to be able to say the House is now more diverse and more representative than ever before. We have the highest number of women MPs, the highest number of MPs from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, we have the first MP of Chinese origin.
“Women ministers now make up a third of those around the cabinet table, including the first woman of Indian decent. There’s still a lot further to go, and we must strive in the years ahead to make our parties and our politics more representative, but I’m pleased my Party has played its part in the progress we see today.”
Ms Harman added: “As the Prime Minister said, there are now many more women MPs on all sides of the House. When I was first elected to Parliament in 1982, only three percent of MPs were women.
“Today, we are nearly 30 percent. Although we still have a long way to go, we have made real progress.”
Though it was not specifically mentioned, research has found that the new House of Commons has broken the record it previously held for the number of MPs who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual – with 32 doing so, up from 26 in the last Parliament.
It is thought to be more openly LGB MPs than any other Parliament in the world – though there are still no out transgender MPs in the UK.