The Agenda

Record number of out candidates win seats in UK Parliament

Parliamentary elections in the United Kingdom this week have produced a record number of openly gay, lesbian and bisexual MPs – records both for the UK and the world, according to Dr. Andrew Reynolds, an associate professor of political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
By his count, “27 out LGBTQ candidates have been elected to the UK House of Commons after at least 152 out candidates ran on May 7,” Reynolds told Gay Politics. That’s one more than when Parliament was dissolved, “and the highest number of LGBTQ MPs ever recorded in the world,” Reynolds said.
At least seven new LGBTQ faces will take seats in the House of Commons, including Labor Party members Peter Kyle (Hove), Catherine Smith (Lancaster and Fleetwood), Gerald Jones (Merthyr Tydfil) and Wes Streeting (Ilford North). Conservative Ben Howlett (Bath) was elected, and out Scottish National Party victors included Stewart McDonald (Glasgow South) and John Nicolson (East Dumbartonshire, Reynolds reported.
“Our Parliament is richer and stronger for the diversity of voices and experiences within it, however, it is certainly disappointing not to see any openly trans people represented amongst our MPs,” said Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of the LGBTQ rights group Stonewall.
The group of out members are also politically diverse. The new parliament will include 13 Labor LGBTQ MPs, 12 Conservatives and two SNP, according to Reynolds.