MP Urges Westminster to Recognise Scotland's First Ethnic Minority MP

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Martyn Day, SNP MP for Linlithgow and East Falkirk, has presented a public petition on behalf of his constituents urging the UK Government to include one of his predecessors in the display “The Pioneers: The First Asian and Black MPs” that is located in the Admissions Order Office Corridor at Westminster.

As well as being Scotland’s first ethnic minority MP, Peter McLagan was also the longest-serving MP in Scotland during Queen Victoria’s reign, serving from 1865 to 1893.

Since first being brought to his attention in August 2022 by local historian David William Main, Mr Day has worked alongside Mr Main in gaining recognition for Peter McLagan MP; helping to secure Mr McLagan’s inclusion in last year’s Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and tabling two Early Day Motions in Parliament.

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Mr Day’s petition notes regret that Scotland’s first mixed-race MP is not included in “The Pioneers” display and urges that the omission be rectified at the earliest opportunity.

Martyn Day MPMartyn Day MP
Martyn Day MP

Martyn Day said:

“I would like to pay tribute to local historian David Main, who alerted me to Peter McLagan’s legacy, and who has done tremendous work on keeping his memory alive.

“Mr McLagan held progressive views on matters of the day such as animal rights, universal free education, and women’s suffrage. He also advocated for the establishment of a Government Department dedicated to agricultural issues, and supported a Bill to better prevent river pollution.

“I greatly appreciate the contemporary relevance of his ambitions and have been trying for some time to rectify his exclusion from Westminster’s history of black, Asian and ethnic minority Parliamentarians.”