Yasmin Qureshi

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Yasmin Qureshi
SoBE Construction Brexit Debate (27362543821).jpg
Shadow Minister for Justice
Assumed office
9 October 2016
Preceded by Andy Slaughter
Member of Parliament
for Bolton South East
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Dr Brian Iddon
Majority 10,928 (26.8%)
Personal details
Born (1963-07-05) 5 July 1963 (age 54)
Gujrat City, Punjab, Pakistan
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Alma mater Polytechnic of the South Bank, University College London
Occupation Member of Parliament
Website yasminqureshi.org.uk

Yasmin Qureshi (born 5 July 1963)[1] is a British Labour Party politician and a barrister practising criminal law. Born in Pakistan, she grew up in Britain from the age of nine. She was elected as the member of parliament (MP) for Bolton South East in the May 2010 general election.[2]

Early life[edit]

Qureshi was born in Gujrat City, Pakistan and moved to Britain when she was nine. Her father was an engineer and the family lived in Watford.[3] She is the youngest of three children.

She attended the Polytechnic of the South Bank (later London South Bank University) and graduated with a BA (Hons) Law degree before studying for and sitting her examinations for the Bar at the Council of Legal Education. She gained a Master of Laws at University College London.[4]

Political career[edit]

At the age of 16, Qureshi joined the Labour Party and became active in local politics.[5]

She stood, unsuccessfully, for Labour in the London constituency of Brent East in 2005.[2] She has worked as a human rights advisor to the former London mayor Ken Livingstone[2] and previously headed the criminal legal section of the UN Mission in Kosovo.[2] Qureshi previously chaired the Human Rights and Civil Liberties Working Group of the Association of Muslim Lawyers and was President of the Pakistan Club (UK).[4]

She was elected at the 2010 general election in the safe Labour seat of Bolton South East.[6] Qureshi, Rushanara Ali and Shabana Mahmood, elected at the same time, became Britain's first female Muslim MPs. Qureshi is also the first woman to be elected as the Member of Parliament for Bolton South East.[2]

In February 2014, during a parliamentary debate, she said: "Of course, many millions perished" in the Holocaust. "It is quite strange that some of the people who are running the state of Israel seem to be quite complacent and happy to allow the same to happen in Gaza". In response, Karen Pollock of the Holocaust Educational Trust said: "We expect our politicians to speak responsibly and sensitively about the past and about events today," Pollock said. "These lazy and deliberate distortions have no place in British politics". Qureshi apologised.[7][8]

In May 2014, Qureshi opposed mandatory labelling of meat coming from animals killed by halal and kosher methods. She claimed halal slaughtering can be significantly less painful for animals than the more widespread method of stunning, saying "a myth is being perpetuated that somehow kosher and halal methods, carried out as they should be, are more painful and cause more suffering to the animal, but that is incorrect".[9][10]

In early October 2016, Qureshi was appointed as a Shadow Minister for Justice by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.[11]

Awards and nominations[edit]

In January 2013 and 2015, Qureshi was nominated for the Politician of the Year award at the British Muslim Awards.[12][13] In January 2014, she was awarded the Politician of the Year award at the British Muslim Awards.[14]


  1. ^ "Yasmin Qureshi". Democracy Live. BBC News. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Adetunji, Jo; Tran, Mark (7 May 2010). "General election 2010: first female Muslim MPs elected". guardian.co.uk. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "The first Asian woman MP?". Evening Standard. London. 27 February 2004. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Yasmin Qureshi". The Telegraph. 
  5. ^ "The return of the Native?: Gujrati lass gears up for UK polls". Daily Times. 15 March 2004. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. 
  6. ^ Britton, Paul (29 August 2007). "Yasmin aiming for double first". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  7. ^ "Labour MP apologises for Holocaust remark". The Guardian. Press Association. 7 February 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2016. 
  8. ^ Dysch, Marcus (10 February 2014). "Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi apologises for Gaza-Holocaust comparison". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 10 October 2016. 
  9. ^ Bienkov, Adam (14 May 2014). "MPs block compulsory halal meat labelling". politics.co.uk. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "Right to supply tickets to events of national significance". TheyWorkForYou. 13 May 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  11. ^ "Jeremy Corbyn welcomes 10 returning MPs to shadow team". ITV News. 9 October 2016. Retrieved 9 November 2016. 
  12. ^ "Winners honoured at British Muslim Awards". Asian Image. 31 January 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2015. 
  13. ^ "British Muslim Awards 2015 finalists unveiled". Asian Image. 23 January 2015. Retrieved 1 November 2015. 
  14. ^ "British Muslim Awards 2014 winners". Asian Image. 31 January 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2015. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Brian Iddon
Member of Parliament for Bolton South East