Millions in Bangladesh transfixed by Tulip Siddiq’s election victory
- Credit: Archant
As thousands of Hampstead and Kilburn constituents awoke on Friday morning to discover the general election result, an entire nation on the other side of the world was equally eager to find out if Labour’s Tulip Siddiq had beaten Conservative Simon Marcus.
A pack of Bangladeshi journalists descended on the Hampstead and Kilburn general election count in Somers Town on Thursday to report on the electoral fate of Ms Siddiq, the niece of Bangladesh’s prime minister Sheikh Hasina.
“This is the biggest story in Bangladesh at the moment,” said one of the journalists at the count. “150million people will be waking up to see if Tulip has been elected.”
As Ms Siddiq entered Somers Town Community Centre arm-in-arm with her mother and husband at just before 1am on election night, the politician and her family were mobbed by cameramen from Bangladesh’s leading TV news channels.
When confirmation of Ms Siddiq’s 1,138-vote victory over Mr Marcus came through at 5am on Friday, the images were beamed 5,000 miles to Bangladesh where they led TV news bulletins throughout the day.
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“They focussed on the three Bengali female candidates that got elected in Britain and the fact that they are getting more involved in politics,” said Shahnewaz Rocky, UK correspondent for Jamuna TV in Bangladesh.
“We are an ethnic minority here in the UK so it is a great achievement when we see our people representing us in the House of Commons. It makes us very proud.
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“Tulip is the granddaughter of the father of the nation. The family blood is politics. She is representing us in one of the most democratic nations.”
Mr Rocky said many of his countrymen back in Bangladesh stayed up throughout the night to await the result in Camden.
“People were asking me on Twitter and Facebook, ‘What’s happening? Give us an idea,’” he said.
“I had 200 to 300 text messages from people back home asking me what the result was.”