Name: Simranjit Singh Boparai
Avatar: Shailesh Vara
Age: 52 (Born Dec 1962)
Marital Status: Married
Sexual Orientation: Straight
Political Outlook: New Labour / centrist
Constituency: Wolverhampton South West
Year Elected: First elected in 2001. Lost his seat in 2010. Re-won it in 2015.
Education: Brunel University
Political Career: Parliamentary Private Secretary to Shaun Woodward (2007-10)
Simranjit Singh Boparai was born in Kampala, in the then British Protectorate of Uganda, in December 1962. His parents were Sikhs of Punjabi Indian descent, whose family were among those brought from India to Uganda by the British to do colonial clerical work. Like many Indians in Uganda, the family were very successful, and Boparai was treated to a high-quality education. In 1972, Ugandan dictator Idi Amin gave all Asians 3 months to leave the country. Like most of those affected, his family had British passports, so Boparai came with his parents to settle in England. Settling in Leicester, Boparai attended a local state grammar school. He read Law at Brunel University, beginning a career as a solicitor.
Boparai joined the Labour Party in 1990, a supporter of Kinnock, Smith and (later) Blair's efforts to modernise the party. In 1997, he stood unsuccessfully as the Labour candidate in the safely Conservative, southern Leicestershire seat of Blaby. He was then selected to replace the retiring one-term MP Jenny Jones in Wolverhampton South West, and duly retained the seat for Labour in 2001.
Boparai spent his first term as MP on the backbenches, being recognised by TheyWorkForYou for speaking in a "well above average" number of parliamentary debates. After being re-elected in 2005, he became more involved in Government, serving as Parliamentary Private Secretary to then-Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward.
At the 2010 general election, Boparai was defeated by the Conservative candidate and fellow Sikh Paul Singh Uppal. In his time out of Parliament, Boparai returned to practising law, and supported a number of charities in the Midlands. In 2015, he contested his former seat again, this time defeating Uppal to re-take it.
As a Sikh, Boparai is teetotal and avoids eating meat. He speaks fluent Punjabi. He is married to Jasminder, and has three children, Deepinder, Ranveer and Harpreet. Boparai is a keen follower of England cricket, but has admitted to feeling conflicted whenever England play his ancestral homeland of India.
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