The history of non-white MPs probably begins with David Ochterlony Dyce Sombre, who was of mixed Indian and European descent. In 1841 he was elected MP for Sudbury, Suffolk. However, in 1842 he and the other Sudbury Member lost their seats due to discrepancies during the campaign.
The next minority ethnic MP, Dadabhai Naoroji, was elected in 1892. He was followed by two fellow Mumbai-born Parsis: Mancherjee Bhownaggree in 1895 and, after a further 27 years, Shapurji Saklatvala in 1922.
Despite these early pioneers, it took until 1987 for the next MPs of colour to gain seats. That year’s historic General Election resulted in the first ever black MPs – Diane Abbott, Paul Boateng and Bernie Grant – and saw Keith Vaz become the first MP of Indian descent for nearly sixty years.