*As 20-Year-Old Emerges UK’s Youngest Lawmaker Since 1667
The just concluded general election in Britain has been good to some Nigerian participants, four of who won seats in the British parliament to represent their constituencies. They are;
Chuka Harrison Umunna is a British Labour Party politician who has served Streatham as Member of Parliament(MP) since 2010. Umunna is the current Shadow Business Secretary since 2011. Chuka Umunna’s father Bennett, of the Nigerian Igbo ethnic group, died in a road accident in Nigeria in 1992.
His mother, Patricia, is a solicitor and daughter of Sir Helenus Milmo QC, the Anglo-Irish High Court judge. Umunna was educated at Hitherfield Primary School in Streatham, South London, and the Christ Church Primary School in Brixton Hill. He says his parents felt that the local state school had “given up on him” and so moved him to the boys’ independent senior school St Dunstan’s College, in Catford in southeast London, where he played the cello, and became Deputy Head Boy. During this period he was also a chorister at Southwark Cathedral.
He was awarded an upper second class LLB in English and French Law from the University of Manchester; after graduating he studied for one term at the University of Burgundy in Dijon, before studying for an MA at Nottingham Law School. He has said that his politics and moral values come from Christianity, but that he is “not majorly religious”
Born 28 September 1961, Helen Grant is a British Conservative Party politician and solicitor. She is the current Member of Parliament for Maidstone and The Weald in Kent and the current Minister for Sport, Tourism & Equalities. She was elected at the 2010 general election, replacing the constituency’s previous incumbent, Ann Widdecombe, who had decided to step down as an MP. Grant was the first black woman to be selected to defend a Tory seat and her election made her the Conservatives’ first female black MP.
Grant received her first government appointment in September 2012, when she received the dual roles of Under-Secretary of State for Justice and Under-Secretary for Women and Equalities. Grant was born in Willesden, north London to an English mother and Nigerian father, but grew up in a single parent family after her parents separated and her father emigrated to the United States. She was raised in Carlisle where she lived on the city’s Raffles council estate with her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
Chi Onwurah (born 12 April 1965) is a British Labour Party politician, who was elected at the 2010 general election as the Member of Parliament for Newcastle upon Tyne Central, replacing the previous Labour MP Jim Cousins, who decided to step down and left the seat. She is Newcastle’s first black MP. During the depression of the 1930s, Onwurah’s maternal grandfather was a sheet metal worker in Tyneside shipyards. Her mother grew up in poverty in Garth Heads on Newcastle’s quayside. Her father, from Nigeria, was working as a dentist while he studied at Newcastle Medical School when they met and married in the 1950s.
After Chi was born in Wallsend, Newcastle upon Tyne, in 1965, her family moved to Awka, Nigeria when she was still a baby. Just two years later the Biafran Civil War broke out bringing famine with it, forcing her mother to bring the children back to Newcastle, whilst her father stayed on in the Biafran army.
National Health Service (NHS) manager Kate Osamor is the Labour Party’s parliamentary candidate for the Edmonton constituency in London after stiff contest with fellow diasporan Kate Anolue. Ms Osamor, who has worked for the NHS for 15 years, is a trade union activist, a women’s charity trustee and a member of the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee. She made funding the NHS, opposing its fragmentation and standing up to government cuts the centrepiece of her campaign.
In a related development, a 20-year-old Scottish student has become Britain’s youngest lawmaker since 1667 — ousting one of Labour’s top figures in the process. Politics student Mhairi Black represents the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP), and took Paisley and Renfrewshire South, a constituency outside Glasgow, from Douglas Alexander, Labour’s election chief and a former Cabinet minister.