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Most non-white UK MPs have experienced racism, study

Most black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) British MPs have experienced racism while working in parliament, including from fellow lawmakers, according to a report by ITV News.

ITV asked all 65 BAME MPs to fill out a survey on their experiences of racism in parliament and from the British public. The broadcaster got 37 anonymous responses from members of the Conservative, Labour, and Liberal Democrat parties. Of those, 62 percent said they faced “racism or racial profiling” while on the parliamentary estate, with 51 percent saying they had experienced racism or racial profiling from other MPs.

Also, 92 percent said their ethnicity made it harder to get elected; 83 percent said their ethnicity made it harder to do their work in parliament; and 81 percent said they had received racist abuse from the public.

Labour MP Tulip Siddiq told ITV she had been advised to run for parliament using her husband’s English surname, as “people wouldn’t vote for ‘Tulip Siddiq.’”

Lib Dem MP Layla Moran, who is of Palestinian descent, said she faces “a torrent of people who want to tear you down” whenever she publicly addresses her ethnicity.

Labour MP Afzal Khan reported “loads of tweets” from people saying he should “go back to Pakistan.”

“There is a license now to challenge people’s rights to be here,” Khan said.

Labour MP Dawn Butler said she was once removed from the members’ tea room by a police officer.

A spokesperson for the House of Commons told ITV News it was “unacceptable” for MPs to experience racism, adding, “we are particularly concerned to hear of instances occurring on the parliamentary estate.”

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