|SNP Spokesperson for International Trade|
13 May 2015 – 8 June 2017
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||Hannah Bardell|
|Member of Parliament|
for Ochil and South Perthshire
7 May 2015 – 3 May 2017
|Preceded by||Gordon Banks|
|Succeeded by||Luke Graham|
Tasmina Andalib Rizvi
5 October 1970
London, England, UK
|Political party||Conservative (Before 2000)|
Scottish National Party (2000–present)
|Alma mater||University of Edinburgh|
University of Strathclyde
Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh OBE WS NP (born 5 October 1970) is a Scottish politician. She was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Ochil and South Perthshire in May 2015, and has served as the Scottish National Party Trade and Investment spokesperson, Deputy Shadow Leader of the House in the House of Commons, and the SNP's National Women's and Equalities Convener. She was defeated at the 2017 United Kingdom general election. A solicitor and businessperson, and a former actress, Ahmed-Sheikh founded and formerly chaired the Scottish Asian Women's Association.
Early life and education
Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh was born in Chelsea, London in 1970, and raised in Edinburgh. Her mother is a half-Welsh, half-Czech actress who performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company; her father, of Pakistani origin, was the first councillor of Asian background elected in Scotland—in 1986 for the New Town/Stockbridge ward on Lothian Regional Council, representing the Conservative Party. Ahmed-Sheikh was educated at Craigmount High School, George Heriot's School in Edinburgh, the University of Edinburgh (MA) and the University of Strathclyde (LLB & Postgraduate Diploma in Law).
After graduating in law, Ahmed-Sheikh decided to try acting. Playing parts in drama serials, she starred in the Pakistani drama series Des Pardes and also produced and appeared in The Castle: Aik Umeed. These led to a series of local modelling shoots, and starring in a drama Ansoo playing the role of Emotional girl Imaan, produced by her husband Zulfikar Sheikh, who also worked in drama as Dr Aryan.
Ahmed-Sheikh decided to concentrate on her legal career, her family and politics instead of acting and was a partner at the Glasgow law firm Hamilton Burns, specialising in commercial conveyancing and private client work, often with a family law or immigration element.
On 15 January 2019, she was found guilty of professional misconduct by a Law Society Tribunal and fined £3000.
Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh was active in the Scottish Conservative Party from the age of 10 and a member from 16. She was chairperson of Edinburgh Central Young Conservatives and deputy spokeswoman for the party on women and family issues and equal opportunities. She stood as the party's candidate in Glasgow Govan in the 1999 Scottish Parliament election, where she came in third place with 2,343 votes (8.88%).
In 2000, she resigned from the Conservatives in response to William Hague's "right wing" pronouncements on asylum seekers. She briefly joined the Labour Party before declaring that she would join the Scottish National Party, and was welcomed as a 'defector'. Alex Salmond said he was "glad she had joined the party".
In the 2015 general election she was elected to the UK Parliament in the Ochil and South Perthshire constituency, earning 46% of the vote as the SNP took the seat from Labour incumbent Gordon Banks. However she lost the seat at the following 2017 general election to Luke Graham of the Scottish Conservative Party.
In 2019 it was reported that The SNP declined her application to stand in the upcoming European Parliament elections of that year.
Ahmed-Sheikh is the founder and chair of the Scottish Asian Women's Association (SAWA). The official launch of SAWA was on 19 April 2012 and the Scottish government provided support at a launch event at Stirling Castle, to the equivalent of around £16,000. Ahmed-Sheikh resigned as a trustee of SAWA after her election as a MP in 2015.
In January 2016, The Herald reported that during the period Ahmed-Sheikh was chair, only a small proportion (3%) of the SAWA's income had been donated to charitable causes. It was reported in May 2017, that the Law Society of Scotland is investigating "administrative matters" which relate her period as a solicitor and alleged "financial impropriety involving a trust fund set up to help a vulnerable person". Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish first minister and SNP leader, is standing by Ahmed-Sheikh who has faced calls for her to be suspended from the party.
Professional misconduct disciplinary case
In January 2019 Ahmed-Sheikh was fined £3,000 by the Scottish Solicitors' Discipline Tribunal for professional misconduct. The Tribunal found that Ahmed-Sheikh and fellow solicitor Alan Mickel had shown "disregard for the rules" in running a trust and had a conflict of interest when they borrowed money from it. In addition to their fines, the pair also had to pay the expenses of the Law Society.
A Muslim, Ahmed-Sheikh is married to Zulfiqar Sheikh and they have four children—Elysée, Saif, Shansee, Vaneesee. She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to business and to the Asian community in Scotland. She speaks English, French and Urdu.
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- "Slainte Media Limited". Open Corporates. 25 October 2018. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
- Nicola Sturgeon questions Alex Salmond's choice of Russian TV channel BBC News, 10 November 2017 Archived from the original on 11 November 2017; Retrieved 11 November 2017
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- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 2010–present
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh on Twitter
- Biography - Tasmina Ahmed Sheikh Scottish National Party (Archived)
- Tasmina Ahmed Sheikh's Westminister Maiden Speech YouTube, 6 June 2015
- Appearances on C-SPAN
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament
for Ochil and South Perthshire