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Parliament becoming more ethnically diverse is a work in progress but not there yet, Robert Peston writes

Parliament does not represent the UK's diverse population, Robert Peston writes. Credit: PA

Boris Johnson makes great play of the ethnic diversity of his cabinet.

But so far the Tories have selected three BAME candidates for safe seats compared with 11 by Labour.

And if all elected, Parliament would have 64 BAME MPs, up from 52. But this would still not be representative of the UK's diverse population.

Just under 10% of MPs would be non-white, compared with 14% of the UK population (based on 2011 census figures).

Of BAME MPs, two thirds would be Labour.

Diane Abbott became the first black MP to represent the Labour party during PMQs last month. Credit: PA

And Muslim heritage MPs may become the largest ethnic minority group in Parliament, with at least 23 MPs, 18 of them Labour.

Afro-Caribbean MPs would be the second largest group with 15 MPs, and Hindu and Sikh heritage MPs would be 11.

One Tory BAME parliamentarian praises the way Corbyn has "not been afraid to push diverse candidates through the system" and says the Tory failure to choose more BAME candidates is because they are typically "selected by fewer than 200 local members who are totally unrepresentative of their own constituencies and modern Britain".

So Parliament is becoming more like the country we all inhabit. Which most would presumably say is a good thing.

But this is work in progress. Not there yet.