Anas Sarwar

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Anas Sarwar
Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour Party
In office
17 December 2011 – 13 December 2014
Leader Johann Lamont
Preceded by Johann Lamont
Succeeded by Kezia Dugdale
Member of Parliament
for Glasgow Central
In office
6 May 2010 – 30 March 2015
Preceded by Mohammad Sarwar
Succeeded by Alison Thewliss
Majority 10,551 (34.5%)
Personal details
Born (1983-03-14) 14 March 1983 (age 32)
Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland[1]
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Furheen Ashrif, since 2006
Relations Mohammed Sarwar
Children two sons
Alma mater University of Glasgow
Profession Dentist
Religion Islam

Anas Sarwar, (born 14 March 1983)[2] is a British Labour Party politician and was the Member of Parliament for Glasgow Central from 6 May 2010, succeeding his father Mohammad Sarwar, the first-ever Muslim MP in the UK. He lost the seat to Alison Thewliss of the SNP in the 2015 UK General Election.

Early life[edit]

Anas Sarwar was born in Glasgow to Mohammed and Perveen Sarwar. He is the youngest of four siblings.


Sarwar was educated at Hutchesons' Grammar School, an independent school in Glasgow, and studied Dentistry at Glasgow University. He graduated in 2005, becoming an NHS General Dental Practitioner before becoming an MP in 2010.

Political career[edit]

Sarwar has been a member of the Scottish Labour Party since the age of 16 and was previously part of the team which campaigned successfully to save Govan Shipbuilders in 1999, collecting more than 80,000 signatures. Sarwar was an executive member of Scottish Young Labour, and joined the Co-operative Party, the Fabian Society and the trade unions Unite and Community.[3] Sarwar is a vice-chair of Progress.[citation needed]

Scottish Parliament election, 2007[edit]

For the 2007 Scottish Parliament elections, Sarwar was selected to stand as the number one regional list candidate for the Glasgow region.[4] He was a member of Labour's Scottish Policy Forum which was responsible for drawing-up the Labour manifesto for that election.

Sarwar's attempt to enter Holyrood failed at the election when Labour lost control of the Scottish parliament for the first time.[5]

Member of Parliament[edit]

In 2010, Sarwar was elected to represent the Westminster constituency of Glasgow Central on 6 May 2010, increasing the previously held majority.[4] He was later elected by his colleagues to serve on the International Development Select Committee. His parliamentary interests include foreign policy and international development. His specific areas of concern are Palestine and Kashmir.[6]

Sarwar is also Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Anti-Corruption and was a member of the Welfare Reform Bill Committee.[7]

Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour Party[edit]

In December 2011, Sarwar was elected Scottish Labour deputy leader receiving 51.10% of the vote.[8] In 2012, he co-ordinated the Scottish Labour Party's Referendum Campaign.[9]

Following the resignation of Johann Lamont on 25 October 2014, Sarwar became the Acting Leader of Scottish Labour, until a new leader was elected. On 30 October he resigned as deputy Scottish leader at a Labour Party dinner in Glasgow.

From 5 November 2014, Sarwar was briefly Labour's shadow spokesperson for International Development.[10]


"Bedroom Tax" stance[edit]

In 2013, Sarwar took a strong line in attacking both the "Bedroom Tax" and the Scottish Government for its alleged failure to mitigate its worst effects. However, during a vote on its repeal in the House of Commons on 13 November 2013, Sarwar along with 45 other Labour MPs abstained, with the vote being lost by 252 to 226 – fewer than the number of Labour MPs who had failed to vote.[11] It subsequently emerged that on the day of the vote, Anas Sarwar was in Pakistan, giving a speech to students at Hajvery University.[12]

Independent school[edit]

In 2014, Sarwar came under criticism for choosing to send his son to Hutchesons' Grammar School, the same independent school that he himself attended, rather than a state school. MSP John Wilson stated: "Anas Sarwar once again highlights the hypocrisy of the Labour Party – talking of social justice and defending public services while sending his own child to a private school"[13]


In January 2013, Sarwar was awarded the Politician of the Year award at the British Muslim Awards.[14] In January 2015, he was awarded the Spirit of Britain award at the British Muslim Awards.[15]


  1. ^ "Who's Who". Retrieved 13 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "Anas Sarwar". Democracy Live (BBC News). Retrieved 25 July 2010. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b "Biography " Anas Sarwar MP | Working Hard for Glasgow Central". Retrieved 13 March 2012. 
  5. ^ Peterkin, Tom (18 December 2011). "Anas Sarwar is the brightest of the bright young things – Politics". Retrieved 13 March 2012. 
  6. ^ "‘I never thought I’d have to fight a political battle for my own country’, says Labour MP". 
  7. ^ "Anas Sarwar". Scottish Labour. 20 February 2009. Retrieved 13 March 2012. 
  8. ^ "Johann Lamont named new Scottish Labour leader". BBC News. 17 December 2011. 
  9. ^ "Anas Sarwar to co-ordinate Labour’s Scottish Referendum Campaign". 
  10. ^ "Anas Sarwar given new Labour international role". Herald Scotland. 
  11. ^ "Scots Labour MPs slammed after bedroom tax no-show". 14 November 2013. 
  12. ^ Why Scotland needs a strong independent online news media, 17 November 2013
  13. ^ Labour's deputy leader under fire for sending son to Glasgow private school, 26 January 2014
  14. ^ "Winners honoured at British Muslim Awards". Asian Image. 31 January 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2015. 
  15. ^ "British Muslim Awards 2015 finalists unveiled". Asian Image. 23 January 2015. Retrieved 1 November 2015. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Mohammad Sarwar
Member of Parliament for Glasgow Central
Succeeded by
Alison Thewliss