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11 June 1987: an anniversary still within memory!

Updated: Jun 19, 2021

As Black Monday wiped £50,000m off the value of shares on the London stock exchange, Rick Astley released "Never Gonna Give You Up" and eleven people were killed by a Provisional Irish Republican Army bomb in Enniskillen.

Meanwhile, on 11th June, Margaret Thatcher secured a third successive election victory for the Conservatives and Dianne Abbot, Paul Boateng, Bernie Grant and Keith Vaz were elected as the first Black and Asian MPs in Britain since 1893.

What is surprising is just how recent this was and while we currently have 60 Black and Asian MP’s in parliament i.e. 9.2% of available seats, at the last census the Black and Asian population of the UK was 10.8%.

First past the post continues to fail those it's meant to represent.


Dianne Abbott is the first black woman elected to Parliament, and the longest-serving black MP in the House of Commons.

Paul Boateng, Baron Boateng is a British Labour Party politician, who was the Member of Parliament for Brent South from 1987 to 2005, becoming the UK's first Black Cabinet Minister in May 2002, when he was appointed as Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

Bernard Grant was a British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament for Tottenham, London, from 1987 to his death in 2000.

Keith Vaz is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Member of Parliament for Leicester East from 1987 to 2019. He was the British Parliament's longest-serving British Asian MP.He served as the Minister for Europe between October 1999 and June 2001, was appointed a member of the Privy Council in June 2006 becoming Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee from July 2007 and then appointed to the Justice Select Committee until he resigned in 2019.

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