A majority of black, asian and minority ethnic MPs have said they have experienced racism or racial profiling on the parliamentary estate, a new survey suggests.
Of the 65 MPs from minority ethnic backgrounds in the House of Commons, 37 responded to an anonymous investigation from ITV News across all political parties at Westminster.
Of these individuals, 62 per cent said they had experienced racism on the estate of the House of Commons while 51 per cent said they had experienced racism or racial profiling from fellow MPs.
Sharing the full story, not just the headlines
Over 90 per cent said it was more difficult for them to become MPs due to their ethnicity while 81 per cent added they had experienced racism from members of the public.
Shadow women and equalities minister Dawn Butler told ITV News she was once escorted out of a room on the parliamentary estate by security.
“A police officer came to physically escort me out of the members’ team room even though he was told I was a Member of Parliament,” she said. “He has since sent me a written apology.”
Labour MP Tulip Siddiq described telling a colleague that she was pregnant and being met by surprise that she was having a girl, as the individual involved believed that Asian people were more likely to abort baby girls.
Ms Siddiq said: “Speaking to a colleague of mine, she looked at me in astonishment and said, ‘You know you’re having a girl because normally they don’t tell people of Asian origin they’re having a girl because you know, then Asian people decide…’ I looked at her and I couldn’t believe what she was saying.”
It comes after newly-elected MPs complained of being confused with other politicians and parliamentary staff during their first weeks in the House of Commons.
In a string of tweets, Abena Oppong-Asare, the new Labour MP for Erith and Thamesmead, listed a series of incidents including a Tory MP asking her to “look after” his bag.
She added: “In my first week someone came up to me confusing me with another black MP. I said no I’m the black sister from [Erith and Thamesmead] Labour. He raised his eyebrows and said wow there more of you.
“I’m thinking I might need to write my name on my forehead as I think some people are really struggling to tell the difference.”
A spokesperson for the House of Commons said: “It is unacceptable that some MPs have experienced racism, and we are particularly concerned to hear of instances occurring on the parliamentary estate. We are committed to taking any necessary steps to ensure this does not happen in future.”