Amjad Bashir

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Amjad Bashir
MEP
Member of the European Parliament
for Yorkshire and the Humber
Incumbent
Assumed office
1 July 2014
Preceded by Edward McMillan-Scott
Personal details
Born Amjad Mahmood Bashir
(1952-09-17) 17 September 1952 (age 62)
Gujrat, Punjab, Pakistan
Political party Conservative (2015–present, before 2012)
Other political
affiliations
UKIP (2012–2015)
Alma mater University of Bradford

Amjad Mahmood Bashir (born 17 September 1952) is a Member of the European Parliament for the Yorkshire and the Humber region for the Conservative Party. He was elected in 2014 for the UK Independence Party and defected to the Conservative Party on 24 January 2015. Earlier on the same day, UKIP announced that they had suspended his membership and that he is under a continuing investigation over various allegations of impropriety.

Early life[edit]

Bashir was born in Pakistan and moved to Yorkshire aged eight, to live with his father who was a mill worker in Bradford. He is a member of the Pakistani community. Bashir attended Thornton Grammar School before graduating with a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Bradford.

Career[edit]

Bashir ran two restaurants, in Bradford and Manchester, for most of his career.[1]

Political career[edit]

According to the Respect Party, in 2012 Bashir was selected as a council candidate for the party for the Bradford Moor ward of Bradford Borough Council representing the Respect Party, but he was then de-selected. In 2015, Galloway claimed that Bashir had "no real political principles or commitment ... only naked opportunism and self-interest." Galloway did not state the exact reasons for which Bashir had been deselected by Respect.[2] However, a spokesman for Bashir said that he had never had anything to do with Respect.[3]

Bashir later joined UKIP, and was placed second on the UKIP list of candidates for the Yorkshire and the Humber region at the 2014 European Parliament election. At the election, UKIP topped the regional poll with 31% of the vote and were entitled to three seats. Bashir was thus elected as one of six MEPs for the region.[4] He was the party's small and medium business spokesman, and before leaving the party in 2015, he was their communities spokesman.[5]

Bashir met with Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister, David Cameron on 23 January 2015 to discuss re-joining his old party and prepared to announce his defection the following day.[6] However, in the afternoon of 24 January, before his change of allegiance was publicised, UKIP announced that Bashir had been suspended from UKIP pending an investigation into what they described as "extremely serious" financial and employment issues. The party has said they have passed information to the police about these issues.[7] UKIP stated that Bashir had failed to attend a meeting on 20 January to discuss their points of concern.[8] They also raised questions about alleged interference in a candidate selection.[9][10][11][12][13] Bashir has described the allegations as "absurd and made-up".[14] It was also later alleged that there were financial issues regarding his expenses with reference to the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group in the European Parliament.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Profile - Amjad Bashir: Strength in diversity of city that inspired the man behind Zouk". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 24 January 2015. 
  2. ^ http://www.respectparty.org/2015/01/25/bashir-was-de-selected-by-respect/
  3. ^ Sparrow, Andrew (26 January 2015). "Shapps: Farage's attack on Ukip defector "nonsense"". Guardian. 
  4. ^ "vote 2014 - Yorkshire and the Humber". BBC. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "Ukip suspends senior MEP Amjad Bashir". The Daily Telegraph. 24 January 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2015. 
  6. ^ "UKIP MEP Defects To Conservative Party". Sky News. 24 January 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2015. 
  7. ^ http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/ukips-suspended-members-janice-atkinson-joins-list-as-police-investigate-her-expenses-10123094.html
  8. ^ "BBC News - UKIP MEP Amjad Bashir defects to Conservative Party". BBC News. Retrieved 24 January 2015. 
  9. ^ a b "Do these allegations explain why Ukip's Amjad Bashir defected to the Tories?". Spectator Blogs. Retrieved 24 January 2015. 
  10. ^ Anderson, Steve (24 January 2015). "Ukip MEP Amjad Bashir suspended over 'extremely serious' issues – but he says he's defected to Tories". The Independent. Retrieved 24 January 2015. 
  11. ^ "Former UKIP spokesman was kidnapping gang 'boss'". BBC News. Retrieved 24 January 2015. 
  12. ^ "Ukip suspends senior MEP Amjad Bashir". The Telegraph. 24 January 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2015. 
  13. ^ "Amjad Bashir MEP suspended from UK Independence Party following investigation - UKIP". UKIP. Retrieved 24 January 2015. 
  14. ^ Jenkins, Lin (24 January 2015). "Ukip MEP Amjad Bashir defects to the Conservatives". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 January 2015.