All deleted tweets from politicians

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Disappointed of course not to be elected as @CommonsIDC Chair yesterday, but huge congratulations to @SarahChampionMP. She will be a fantastic Chair holding the government to account as @DFID_UK navigates an uncertain future. I look forward to working with her.

One of the reasons I stood was to show others that BAME working class women can be recognised as experts and leaders, not just activists. And to test out if fellow MPs agreed. I didn’t break my own glass ceiling yesterday, but someone else will soon. 2/12

But that’s not what this thread is about. Today, I took a step back, and with my team I crunched some numbers. All 28 Committee Chairs have now been elected. We took a look at diversity, using data on MPs reported by the BBC, and here’s what we found. 3/12

7.7% (50 of 650) MPs are openly gay, lesbian or bisexual. That’s compares closely with 7.1% (2 of 28) of new Committee Chairs. The numbers are hardly cause for celebration, but they’re decent enough. 4/12

Gender next. 33.8% (220 of 650) MPs are female, but just 28.6% - only 8 out of 28 – of the newly elected Committee Chairs are female. We didn’t have time to get accurate numbers on private school education or Oxbridge education, but hopefully someone will. 5/12

But here’s where it gets bad. 10% (65 of 650) MPs are Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME). That’s 65 highly qualified, knowledgeable Members of Parliament who colleagues could push to run, or elect. Yet not a single one of the 28 new Committee Chairs is BAME. 6/12

There are two called Robert. There are two Stephens. But not a single person of colour. And in fact, Parliament has so far had very few BAME Chairs of Committees in its history. 7/12

Of course, numerical representation isn’t everything. But it’s a decent place to start. And beyond the numbers, things aren’t much better. @abenaopp and @FloEshalomi spoke about their Parliament experience. @DawnButlerBrent told how people assumed she was a cleaner. 8/12

For my part, I’ve also had MPs – Labour, as well as Tories – confuse me with black colleagues, who look quite different. And national newspapers used pictures of Fiona Onasanya for stories about me. Racism isn’t new. But it’s complicated, and often unconscious. 9/12

Diversity in Parliament matters. If parliamentarians cannot see BAME colleagues as leaders and experts and elect them, then why should society address its biases? What message do we send to the 8 million BAME people across the UK about their value in public life? 10/12