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An open bus carrying Chinese MP candidates recently drove through London, to encourage British Chinese to register to vote in the general and local elections on 6 May.

On April 18, the Campaign bus tour began in Stratford, going through Limehouse, the location of the first Chinese settlement in Britain, and finally arrived in Hammersmith.

Amongst the campaigners were the Chinese Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Hammersmith, Merlene Emerson ,her LibDem peer, Navnit Dholakia, and the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Holborn and St Pancras in Camden, George Lee.

George Lee said, “My original motivation was that Chinese did not integrate enough into this country, and I wanted to show that the Chinese are here to stay, that we can contribute to Great Britain.
“We are not just here to make money, or become doctors, lawyers or accountants, though these are important. ”

A Rough Road to Parliament

Although the campaign has received positive feedback, the candidates are still worried about the low percentage of registered voters in the Chinese community.

While it is not the first campaign for Chinese MP candidates in this election year, the results show indifference in Chinese electorates.

Timothy Alderslade, the campaign manager said, the road to parliament is difficult. “It’s quite tough and challenging when you are knocking at someone’s door at ten o’clock on a Saturday morning. It’s cold, and they don’t really want to speak to you.”

Frank Dobson, MP of Holborn and St Pancras, appeared pessimistic:  “I don’t think he’s got any chance at all, quite frankly, he said”.“It’s a pity if the Tory Party actually wants to have a candidate for Parliament from a racial background,” he added.

by Xiangyi Yu

Chinese MP Candidate’s bus campaign day


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