Tuesday 13 April 2021


British Vogue has waited a while to celebrate it, but last week it dedicated an article and photoshoot to the fact that the 2019 general election returned more female Labour MPs than males.  The magazine profiled four of those MPs and gave them a lush makeover.

Front and foremost in the lead photo was the far left member for Coventry South - Zarah Sultana.  The accompanying article touches upon her anti-Semitic past, but says she has since been 'committed to making amends'.  Just as well really, considering the MP at the back of the photo is the Jewish member for Warrington North - Charlotte Nichols.  Nichols recently invited the ire of the hard left over a leaflet she was pictured distributing for the forthcoming local elections.  Nichols' support for Corbyn, BLM and her trade unionist background were instantly rendered void, such is the harshness of woke cancel culture.  If the same mob perused this article they would undoubtedly pounce on the revelation that one of Nichols' mentors in her formative years was none other than Theresa May.

Standing to Sultana's left in Vogue's photo was another BLM supporter, the member for Coventry North West - Taiwo Owatemi.  She provides one of the laugh out loud moments in the article when she talks about knife crime.  Raised in south London, Owatemi says it was 'normal' to mourn the loss of someone from knife crime and then she comes out with this: "I got really angry and frustrated and my mum said to me, ‘If you are not happy with something, you need to do something about it'.  And that is why I joined the Labour Party".  How's knife crime worked out in London since the Labour mayor took over Taiwo?

Like Nichols, Owatemi can also thank a Tory for influencing her early political ambitions, in this instance Oliver Letwin.  Hard left Remainers could probably just about forgive Owatemi for her description of Letwin as a 'lovely man'.

The fourth MP in Vogue's piece is the centrist non-entity for Luton North - Sarah Owen.  She has done little of note since her election and barely features in the article.  Owen's claim to fame is the fact she is the first MP of Oriental descent, albeit only on her mother's side.

Also worth noting that none of these MPs were raised in the towns or cities they represent.

The article ends by suggesting that the lack of portraits of BAME female MPs currently on display in Parliament could one day be addressed by the inclusion of Vogue's quartet.  Unlikely, given that only Owen has a decent majority (9,247).  Both Sultana (401) and Owatemi (208) have wafer thin majorities in Coventry, while Nichols' seat is also classed as a marginal (1,509).  On current polling those three would all lose their seats if there was an election tomorrow.

Vogue's narrative of advancing 'change' may well be a little misplaced in shining the spotlight on such potentially short-lived MPs.