The general election has returned more black and minority ethnic MPs than ever before, however critics have lamented the “glacial” pace of change.
The House of commons now has 52 BME MPs, amounting to eight per cent of seats, a two per cent increase on 2015.
Thursday’s vote also saw a record number of gay MPs elected to Parliament, six more LGBTQ politicians set to join the House of Commons, six more than in the last Parliament.
While both Labour and the Conservatives have adopted official programmes to increase their proportion of women candidates, the drive to boost BME representation has been less formal and driven from the parties’ head offices, said Dr Jennifer Hudson, from the Constitution Unit at University College London.
She said the snap election meant political parties had been better able to imposed BME candidates on local party associations in 2017.
Labour has the most BME MPs – 32 – with the Conservatives second with 19.
“While it is good news that the number of women and BME MPs is on the rise, this election really does illustrate the seemingly glacial pace of change,” she said.
“The good news is that the parties have shown the political will to address the lack of women candidates put in front of the electorate.
“2017 saw a higher proportion of women candidates selected than ever before – about 30%.”
The Sikh community is also celebrating the election of Britain’s first turban-wearing MP, as well as the first female Sikh MP, after Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi and Preet Kaur Gill were both successful for Labour.