Last updated: 14 april, 2010 - 15:27 GMT

UK election forum: What it means to the Chinese community - Part one

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The British general election will be held on 6 May 2010 and to help the UK's Chinese community understand what this election means for them,click and click jointly hosted a forum entitled UK Election and the Chinese Community at King's College in London on 7 April 2010.

There have not been any MPs of Chinese origin in the UK Parliament before and only a few councillors have ever been elected. However this year’s general election sees a record number of ethnic Chinese candidates - with 8 confirmed to run in constituencies across the UK.

Five candidates who joined the panel were Merlene Emerson - Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate in Hammersmith and Fulham, London; George Lee - Conservative parliamentary candidate in Holborn and St Pancras, London; Philip Ling - Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate in Birmingham Bromsgrove constituency; Kegang Wu - Conservative parliamentary candidate in Liverpool Riverside and Anna Lo - MLA in Northern Ireland and Alliance Party's parliamentary candidate in South Belfast. As there is no ethnic Chinese candidate for the Labour party yet, Sonny Leong, the Chairman of Chinese for Labour joined the panel.

About 200 people attended the forum, including leading political party members, journalists from local and mainland Chinese media organisations, representatives from local Chinese communities and Chinese students.

In part one of the forum, BBC co-presenters Britt Yip and Paul Crook introduced the six panellists and asked the candidates why they had decided to stand for the election and what they aimed to achieve; Sonny Leong was asked what made him become involved in politics and whether Chinese for Labour had a target for matching the representation of the other main parties.

The candidates Allan Siao Ming Witherick and Alexander Lee Payton of the Liberal Democrats party, who were unable to attend the forum, gave video messages to the participants.

UK Election 2010

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