Muslims in Britain have participated in many political processes – from the activist grassroots levels to higher political ones. This section begins with Muslim MP’s and moves on to mention journalists, campaigners, community leaders who have all left their ‘political fingerprints’ in society and contributed positively across the UK.
Members of Parliament
The 2017 UK General Election outcome revealed that Labour has most Muslim MPs of 12, followed by the Conservative’s 2 MPs and the Scottish National Party lost their only Muslim MP: Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh.
Out of the 14 Muslim MPs, 8 are women and 6 are men. MPs with a Muslim background have increased from 12 to 14 and from the previous Muslim MPs.
Re-elected MPs from 2015:
Imran Hussain: Labour MP for Bradford East
Naseem ‘Naz’ Shah: Labour MP for Bradford West
Rupa Asha Huq: Labour MP for Ealing Central and Acton
Tulip Rizwana Siddiq: Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn
Nusrat Munir Ul-Ghani: Conservative MP for Wealden
Khalid Mahmood: Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr. Also on the advisory council of the Henry Jackson Society.
Yasmin Qureishi: Labour MP for Bolton South East
Shabana Mahmood: Labour MP for Birmingham Ladywood
Rehman Chishti: Conservative MP for Gillingham and Rainham
Rushanara Ali: Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow
New MPs elected in 2017:
Afzal Khan: Labour MP for Manchester Gorton
Faisal Rashid: Labour MP for Warrington South
Mohammad Yasin: Labour for Bedford
Rosena Allin-Khan: Labour MP for Tooting
Sajid Javid: Conservative MP for Bromsgrove
Conservative MP for Bromsgrove, Sajid Javid, is commonly assumed to be a Muslim, but in his own words he said: “My own family’s heritage is Muslim. Myself and my four brothers were brought up to believe in God, but I do not practise any religion. My wife is a practising Christian and the only religion practised in my house is Christianity.”
Other Prominent Politicians
Sadiq Khan: London Mayor.
Sadiq Khan successfully ran for the leadership contest as London Mayor, replacing Boris Johnson in May 2016. He is London’s first ethnic minority mayor and the first Muslim to become a mayor of a major Western capital. He was the MP for Tooting in South London from 2015-16. As an MP, he was also the first Asian or Muslim to attend the Shadow Cabinet. In 1994, aged 23, he was the youngest councillor and become the most senior Muslim in Labour’s 116 year history. Sadiq has also been a Minister in the Department for Transport and the Department for Communities and Local Government. Prior to becoming an MP, Sadiq was a human rights lawyer and acted in a number of landmark cases in major courts and tribunals. He was also a visiting lecturer and Deputy Leader of Labour in Wandsworth.
The London Mayoral election was a tough contest with attempts of unfortunate smear campaigns from Tory candidate Zac Goldsmith. His victory, more than anything, signifies how Londoners, in the words of Mr Khan in his victory speech, choose ‘hope’ over ‘fear’ and in our opinion a stir of racism and Islamophobia. At MAB, we are very proud of his principled stances and look forward to seeing him work for a better London that accommodates people from different backgrounds.
Barons and Baronesses in the House of Lords
There are 10 serving Lords and Baronesses in the House of Lords. Some belong to a party and others sit on the Crossbench. The crossbencher is an independent or minor party member of some legislatures and therefore not aligned to any political party. Out of the 11 members in the House of Lords, there are 5 Baronesses and 6 Lords.
Rt Hon. Baroness Sayeeda Warsi has been a lawyer, business woman and a campaigner and she is also known to be the first Muslim to serve in a British cabinet.
From 2010-12, she was co-chair of the Conservative Party, serving in David Cameron’s cabinet as the Senior Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Office and as the Minister of State for Faith and Communities. In August 2014, she resigned from her position citing disagreement with the Government’s policy on the Israel-Palestine conflict.
She is also known to have declared that Islamophobia had ‘passed the dinner table test’.
Served Labour since 2011.
Read more about him here.