Who is Chi Onwurah? The Nigerian, re-elected Labour MP of Newcastle

by Rachel Ogbu//

Chi Onwurah, the re-elected Labour MP of Newcastle has been speaking about how her party would change the United Kingdom saying only Labour can unlock the potential of Britain. The 52-year-old Nigerian-British won her seat in Parliament this year by 24,071 votes, beating the Conservative candidate Steve Kyte who received 9,134 votes.

“Britain is a country of makers and creators. I grew up in Newcastle, in the shadow of Stephenson, Parsons (that’s Rachel, the world’s first female marine engineer), Armstrong and other greats of our industrial past. Seeing their legacy all around me was part of what inspired me to study electrical engineering as a young woman,” she said.

“The Tories are taking us “back to the future” in a clapped-out DeLorean, bringing us an endless cycle of deindustrialisation and cuts, low wage, low skill, insecurity. Labour’s industrial strategy is a bold step in a new direction. We’re changing the country’s industrial story from neglected rustbelt to green, sustainable, smart, inclusive and hopeful future. That’s something we can all be proud of.”

Chi Onwurah who was first elected at the 2010 general election was a child caught up in the Biafran War after her family moved to Awka, Anambra, Nigeria when she was still a baby. Her mother who is English returned to Britain with her siblings while her father stayed on in the Biafran army.  She has since been very active in the Anti-Apartheid Movement and worked as National Executive for ACTSA: Action for Southern Africa. She was appointed a junior shadow minister for Business, Innovation and Skills and held the role as a Shadow Minister in the Cabinet Office, and Shadow Minister for Culture, Media and Sport.

Chi Onwurah is also very vocal about gender stereotypes. She once told The Guardian, that she believes the limiting of children by gender stereotypes is a serious economic issue, with the proportion of female students on engineering degree courses having fallen from 12% to 8% in the thirty years since she had started studying for one herself.

Chi Onwurah

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