Rushanara Ali

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Rushanara Ali

রুশনারা আলী
Rushanara Ali - MP - 2017.jpg
Ali in June 2017
Shadow Minister for Education
In office
8 October 2013 – 26 September 2014
LeaderEd Miliband
Member of Parliament
for Bethnal Green and Bow
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded byGeorge Galloway
Majority35,393 (72%)
Personal details
Born (1975-03-14) 14 March 1975 (age 43)
Bishwanath, Sylhet, Bangladesh
NationalityBritish
Political partyLabour
ResidenceLondon, England
Alma materSt John's College, Oxford
Tower Hamlets College
ProfessionPolitician
Websitewww.rushanaraali.org

Rushanara Ali MP (Bengali: রুশনারা আলী; born 14 March 1975) is a British Labour Party politician and Associate Director of the Young Foundation, who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bethnal Green and Bow since 2010. Previously Shadow Minister for International Development, in the 2013 Labour reshuffle, Ali joined the Shadow Education team. She resigned from the Labour frontbench to abstain on a House of Commons motion permitting military action in Iraq in September 2014.

Early life[edit]

Ali in October 2007

Ali was born in Bishwanath, Sylhet, Bangladesh.[1] With her family, Ali emigrated to the East End of London at the age of seven, where she attended Mulberry School for Girls and Tower Hamlets College. She grew up in Tower Hamlets where her father was a manual labourer. The first in her family to go to university, Ali studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at St John's College, Oxford.[2]

Career[edit]

Ali began her career as a research assistant to Michael Young, working on a project which paved the way for the establishment of Tower Hamlets Summer University, offering independent learning programmes for young people aged 11–25. She helped to develop "Language Line", a national telephone interpreting service in over 100 languages. Between 1997–1999 she was parliamentary assistant to Oona King, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow.[3]

Ali worked on human rights issues at the Foreign Office from 2000–2001. Prior to this, she was a research fellow at the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) focussing on anti-discrimination issues from 1999–2002. From 2002–2005, she worked in the community cohesion unit at the Communities Directorate of the Home Office, leading a work programme to mobilise local and national agencies in the aftermath of the 2001 riots in Burnley, Bradford and Oldham, to prevent further conflict and unrest, challenging central Government to provide appropriate support to these areas.[4]

Previously, Ali worked as Associate Director of the Young Foundation in Bethnal Green, a thinktank focused on social innovation. She has also served as Chair of Tower Hamlets Summer University; a commissioner on the London Child Poverty Commission; board member of Tower Hamlets College; Trustee of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation; and member of the Tate Britain Council.[5][6]

Ali has published articles on a variety of political issues in numerous national and local media including The Guardian, Prospect magazine and Progress magazine.[7][8][9][10] Ali has also appeared on Question Time Extra, BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour and Thinking Allowed.[11][12]

In March 2009, Ali was listed by The Guardian as one of the most powerful Muslim women in Britain.[13]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Ali at the au Forum Libération de Grenoble in February 2013

In April 2007, Ali was chosen as the Labour Party's prospective Parliamentary candidate for Bethnal Green and Bow. In May 2010, she was elected as a Member of Parliament with a majority of 11,574 votes.[14] She is the first person of Bangladeshi origin to have been elected to the House of Commons,[15] and along with Shabana Mahmood and Yasmin Qureshi, became one of the United Kingdom's first female Muslim MPs.[16][17]

In April 2013, Ali was appointed a Governor of the UK government funded Westminster Foundation for Democracy.[18]

In October 2013, Ali was appointed Shadow Minister for Education.[19] On 26 September 2014, she resigned from the Labour frontbench Education team to abstain on the Coalition government's House of Commons motion permitting military action against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Iraq.[20] In a letter to the leader of the party Ed Miliband, she wrote "I appreciate the sincerity of members of parliament from all sides of the House who today support military action against ISIL. I know that British Muslims stand united in the total condemnation of the murders that ISIL have committed. However, there is a genuine belief in Muslim and non-Muslim communities that military action will only create further bloodshed and further pain for the people of Iraq," Ali also told Miliband that she remained totally committed to his leadership and was looking forward to his becoming the prime minister in next eight months' time. In his return letter to Ali, Miliband praised her as 'someone with great ability and talent'. Regretting her departure from the frontbench team, the Labour leader added that he accepted the resignation with due respect to her decision.[21][22]

Ali retained her seat at the 2015 general election, doubling her majority to 24,317 and earning a 61% share of the vote.[23] In June 2015, she was one of 36 Labour MPs to nominate Jeremy Corbyn as a candidate in the Labour leadership election.[24]

In April 2016, British Prime Minister David Cameron appointed Ali as UK trade envoy for Bangladesh,[25][26] as part of cross party trade envoy network.[27][28]

In June 2017, in the general election, Ali retained her seat with an increased majority of 35,393.[29][30][31]

In March 2018, Ali received a suspicious package containing an anti-Islamic letter and sticky liquid.[32] The substance was later found to be harmless. Similar packages were received by fellow Labour MPs Mohammad Yasin, Rupa Huq and Afzal Khan.[33][34]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "UK gets its first Bengali MP". Bangladesh: Bdnews24.com. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  2. ^ "Rushanara Ali". Alumni Spotlight. St John's College, Oxford. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  3. ^ "About Me". Rushanara Ali MP. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  4. ^ Karim, Mohammed Abdul; Karim, Shahadoth (July 2008). British Bangladeshi Who's Who. British Bangla Media Group. p. 45.
  5. ^ "Rushanara Ali". London Child Poverty Commission. Retrieved 18 September 2008.
  6. ^ "Rushanara Ali". London Child Poverty Commission. Archived from the original on 4 July 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2008.
  7. ^ Rushanara, Ali (20 February 2008). "Let power reflect the people". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 September 2008.
  8. ^ Rushanara, Ali (March 2006). "The Angry East End". Prospect. Retrieved 18 September 2008.
  9. ^ Rushanara, Ali (July 2006). "One year later". Prospect. Retrieved 18 September 2008.
  10. ^ Rushanara, Ali (July 2006). "Articles by Rushanara Ali MP". Progress . Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  11. ^ "Are more young women happy to vote Conservative?'". BBC Radio 4. 14 May 2008. Retrieved 18 September 2008.
  12. ^ "Laurie Taylor discusses the latest social science research". BBC Radio 4. 25 June 2008. Retrieved 18 September 2008.
  13. ^ "Muslim Women Power List". The Guardian. 25 March 2009. Retrieved 3 June 2009.
  14. ^ Cooke, Phoebe (7 May 2010). "Rushanara Ali triumphs in an "historical moment" for Bethnal Green and Bow". London: East London Advertiser. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  15. ^ Cooke, Phoebe (10 May 2010). "Rushanara Ali becomes first Bangladeshi MP". This is London. Archived from the original on 10 May 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
  16. ^ Adetunji, Jo; Tran, Mark (7 May 2010). "General election 2010: first female Muslim MPs elected". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  17. ^ "BBC News – Election 2010 – Constituency – Bethnal Green & Bow". BBC News. 6 May 2017.
  18. ^ "Governors". Westminster Foundation for Democracy. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  19. ^ "Confirmed: Labour's new frontbench team in full". LabourList. 8 October 2013.
  20. ^ "BBC News – MPs support UK air strikes against IS in Iraq". BBC News. 26 September 2014.
  21. ^ "'As it happened: Commons debate on Iraq airstrikes'". The Times. 26 September 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  22. ^ "'Rushanara Ali resigns as shadow education minister over vote on Iraq military action'". Bangladesh: Bdnews24.com. 26 September 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  23. ^ "Bethnal Green & Bow". BBC News. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  24. ^ "Who nominated who for the 2015 Labour leadership election?". New Statesman. 15 June 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  25. ^ "UK prime minister appoints Rushanara Ali MP as trade envoy for Bangladesh". Bangladesh: Bdnews24.com. 15 April 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  26. ^ "UK's trade envoy appointment shows the way". Dhaka: Dhaka Tribune. 17 April 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  27. ^ "Rushanara selected UK trade envoy for Bangladesh". Bangladesh: Prothom Alo. 15 April 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  28. ^ "Rushanara Ali made British trade envoy for Bangladesh". Bangladesh: Newsnextbd.com. 15 April 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  29. ^ "Ealing Central & Acton Parliamentary constituency". BBC News. 9 June 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  30. ^ De Peyer, Robin (9 June 2017). "Bethnal Green and Bow election results: Labour's Rushanara Ali wins". London: London Evening Standard. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  31. ^ Cooke, Phoebe (9 June 2017). "Election 2017: Labour hold in Tower Hamlets as Conservatives lose majority". East London Advertiser. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  32. ^ Brooke, Mike (14 March 2018). "Suspect package sent to Bethnal Green & Bow MP Rushanara Ali and three other Muslim MPs". London: East London Advertiser. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  33. ^ "Third MP gets Islamophobic letter". BBC News. 13 March 2018. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  34. ^ Elgot, Jessica (13 March 2018). "Four Muslim MPs receive suspicious packages at Westminster". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 April 2018.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
George Galloway
Member of Parliament
for Bethnal Green and Bow

2010–present
Incumbent