Westminster has a higher proportion of openly gay and lesbian MPs than any other Parliament in the world, according to a study by US academics.

Some 32 openly gay or lesbian MPs, such as Labour’s Chris Bryant, were elected on 7 May, making up 4.9 per cent of the House of Commons and far exceeding representation in countries such as Sweden, which has only 12 “out” MPs. The UK total of 32 was up from 26 in 2010.

The SNP now has the highest proportion of self-declared LGBT lawmakers of any party in the world, with seven “out” MPs to join its five MSPs and one MEP, according to research by the University of North Carolina’s LGBT Representation and Rights Initiative. Thirteen Labour and 12 Conservative MPs are now openly gay.

The University of Carolina found that in some areas of the UK, being gay helped boost candidates’ votes.

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