World / Europe

Tories win majority in Britain; 1st Chinese sent to Commons

By Zhang Chunyan and Cecily Liu in London (China Daily) Updated: 2015-05-09 08:30

Britain's Conservatives surprised many by winning a majority government in Thursday's election - and in the process created history by sending the first ethnic Chinese MP to Parliament.

"The Conservatives are perceived by a majority of voters as the most competent on managing the economy. There has been a turnaround from recession to growth during the last five years, so this is seen as a success for the Conservative-led government," Sara Hobolt, a professor from the London School of Economics and Political Science, told China Daily.

Experts noted that despite the outcome, uncertainty looms over whether Britain will stay in the European Union - or stay together as a country. The Scottish National Party recorded a historic landslide, winning 56 out of 59 seats in Scotland.

British Chinese elected

Among the Conservatives, or Tories, on their way to Parliament is Alan Mak, 31, who won his seat in Havant, England, and became the first ethnic Chinese MP.

Mak was picked from 24 candidates by the local Conservative Association to replace David Willetts, who stepped down after 23 years.

Tories win majority in Britain; 1st Chinese sent to Commons

Mak told the selection panel he was a "Thatcherite, patriot, local champion and national voice" who would work tirelessly for the people of Havant.

Mak, who was born in Yorkshire, is the Cambridge-educated son of working-class Hong Kong immigrants.

"I see public service as a way of giving back to a wonderful country. My parents always taught me to do good, not just do well," he told local media.

Christine Lee, founder and chairwoman of the British Chinese Project, warmly congratulated Mak on his success. The project is a nonpartisan, voluntary organization seeking to raise the presence of the Chinese community in the British political arena.

"This is a historic moment for the Chinese community in Britain, a milestone," Lee said, adding that Mak's story proves you can succeed through great effort and that he set a good example for the younger generation of Chinese in Britain.

A record 11 ethnic Chinese candidates, including two women, stood in the British election this year.

The Conservatives had five Chinese candidates, the Liberal Democrats three, the Labour Party two and the Green Party one.

Analysts said it reflects the change in attitude toward politics among the younger generation of Chinese in the UK.

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(China Daily 05/09/2015 page1)

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