|Anna Lo at the Alliance Youth stand at a Freshers' Event at the University of Ulster|
|Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
for Belfast South
7 March 2007
17 June 1950 |
British Hong Kong
|Alma mater||University of Ulster|
Anna Manwah Lo MBE (born 17 June 1950) is an Alliance Party politician in Northern Ireland. Born in Hong Kong, of Cantonese-Chinese ethnicity, Lo was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly for Belfast South in the 2007 assembly election. She was the first ethnic-minority politician elected at a regional level in Northern Ireland, and the first politician born in East Asia elected to any legislative body in the United Kingdom.[notes 1] Lo is also a social worker and former chairperson of the Northern Ireland Chinese Welfare Association. A Taoist by birth, Lo has resided in Northern Ireland for more than 30 years, but is now an atheist.
Anna Lo has declared her preference for a United Ireland. She describes herself as anti-colonial and has said the partition of Ireland was "artificial". The Alliance Party played down her remarks, with fellow Alliance elected representative Geraldine Rice expressing shock at her stance.
Lo has been the target of racial abuse by Ulster loyalists and says she does not intend to stand for re-election as a result, and is considering leaving Northern Ireland altogether due to rising anti-immigrant racism in the country.
- Although she had been referred to in some media as "the first Chinese person to be elected as a lawmaker anywhere in Europe", she came only after Ing Yoe Tan, member of the Dutch Senate since 1999, Varina Tjon-A-Ten, Dutch lawmaker from 2003 to 2006, and Mei Li Vos, Dutch lawmaker since 1 March 2007. However it would be more accurate to describe these persons as having Chinese ancestry, rather than being Chinese. The first member of a European government with Chinese roots was Khee Liang Phoa, Dutch State Secretary for Emancipation and Family Affairs in 2002–2003. There have been three members of the unelected House of Lords of Chinese ethnicity, two of whom were from colonial Hong Kong or having ancestry from colonial Hong Kong, the first being Lydia Dunn who received her peerage in 1990. So far no China-born politician has been elected to a European parliament.
- "Belfast politician defies racists". BBC News. 26 March 2007.
- McBride, S. "South Belfast: Lo and behold – UK first for Alliance's Anna". Belfast Telegraph, 8 March 2007.
- McDonald, H. "Chinese candidate defies racist abuse". The Guardian, 11 February 2007.
- "Anna Lo: 'United Ireland' remarks 'insulting', say unionists". BBC News. 20 March 2014. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
- "Anna Lo comments: Geraldine Rice 'shocked' by united Ireland remarks". BBC News. 23 March 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
- "Only Chinese-born parliamentarian in UK to quit politics over racist abuse". The Guardian. 29 May 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
- Chinese Politician Wins in N. Ireland – 10 March 2007, Yahoo Asia News (AP)
- Biography – Anna Lo MLA – Northern Ireland Assembly
- www.annalo.org – Official website of Alliance South Belfast MLA Anna Lo
|Northern Ireland Assembly|
|MLA for Belfast South