04:12PM, Tuesday 18 July 2017
Slough MP Tan Dhesi has been widely praised for his ‘inspirational and witty’ maiden speech made in the House of Commons this afternoon (Tuesday).
Mr Dhesi began by thanking his predecessor, Fiona Mactaggart, for her two decades of ‘dedication and determination’ to Slough and said he hopes to emulate those who have gone before him to give the town an MP it deserves.
He called Slough the ‘Silicon Valley’ of England, but said the trading estate providing 17,000 jobs and the low rates of unemployment were juxtaposed with high levels of ‘homelessness, child obesity and malnutrition’.
He said the town’s diversity represents the ‘world in microcosm’, before talking of his pride at being elected.
‘Slough, Mr Speaker, is a town of firsts,” he said. “It elected the UK’s first black lady mayor and now, more than three decades later, it has elected the first ever turbaned Sikh in British parliament."
The MP said the expectation would weigh heavily on his shoulders but that acceptance of minority groups was still an issue.
He said: "The only way to fight such ignorance, to overcome the politics of hate and division, including the Islamophobia which is prevalent in certain sections of our society and media, is to call it out and condemn it," to cheers from the house.
As he concluded, he addressed the speaker and added that his position of standing out from the crowd may have its own ‘distinct advantages’.
“I’m hoping this brightly coloured turban will act as a magnet as you repeatedly point to the member for Slough to make his invaluable contributions to the proceedings in this house.”
A superb and timely maiden speech by @TanDhesi. A message of tolerance, unity and rejection of division which we can all support.— Gareth Snell MP (@gareth_snell) July 18, 2017
Real pleasure to be in Chamber to hear excellent maiden speech by @TanDhesi— Mike Gapes (@MikeGapes) July 18, 2017
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