Wales politics

Election 2015: 'Do more' to elect black and Asian MPs

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Media captionRace equality campaigner Ray Singh: "We need more inclusiveness"

The lack of black and Asian MPs in Wales is a "huge problem" which the parties need to take seriously, a race equality campaigner has said.

None of the 10 ethnic minority candidates standing in Wales for one the four parties with MPs at Westminster is in a seat where their party came first or second in 2010.

No black or Asian MP has ever been elected in Wales.

Race Council Cymru chair Ray Singh said Wales was "still staggering behind".

The candidates from a BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) background include five Lib Dems, three Conservatives, two Plaid Cymru and none from Labour. UKIP refused to provide details.

The ratio of BAME candidates - one in 16 - is slightly better than the one in 20 of the Welsh population of BAME heritage recorded by the 2011 Census.

'Pool of talent'

But Mr Singh said BAME candidates should be given more winnable seats.

"Wales is a multicultural, multiracial country and we need inclusiveness," he said.

Labour's deputy health minister Vaughan Gething - one of two BAME assembly members - said: "We haven't broadened or deepened our pool of talent that's available to realistically be selected and elected."

A Welsh Conservative spokeswoman said they had three "fantastic" BAME candidates "campaigning hard for victory".

Plaid Cymru chair Dafydd Trystan said the party was "welcoming and open to new members from all backgrounds" but added there was "more to be done specifically in those communities that aren't so politically engaged".

Welsh Lib Dems equalities spokesman Peter Black said his party had more BAME candidates in Wales than the other major parties, but added "there's so much more we can do", pointing to a leadership programme to encourage candidates from under-represented backgrounds.

UKIP Wales said it did not carry out diversity monitoring of its candidates, saying it wanted opportunities "to go to people based solely on merit".

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