Up to a quarter of the 16 Muslim females standing as candidates at the next month’s general elections are in prominent positions to win parliamentary seats for the first time, according to an analysis carried out exclusively by The Muslim News.
The total number of Muslim MPs could also continue to double, including at least one of two Conservatives being elected for the first time. The first Muslim MP was elected in 1997, the second in 2001 and the number doubled again at the last election to four, all have so far been Labour.
Among Muslim women, Yasmin Qureshi, Shabana Mahmood and Maryam Khan have all been selected to defend Labour seats respectively in Bolton South East, Birmingham Ladywood and Bury North. Respect Party – Unity Coalition leader Salma Yaqoob also is seen as having an outside chance of capturing Birmingham Hall Green.
In addition among male candidates, three of the four incumbent MPs, Sadiq Khan, Shahid Malik and Khalid Mahmood are seeking re-election, while in Glasgow Central, Anas Sarwar is seeking to replace his father, Mohammad Sarwar, who is stepping down.
Among Conservatives, Sajid Javid has been selected to defend the more than 10,000 majority of resigning MP Julie Kirkbride, while Rehman Christi is standing in Gillingham & Rainham, the party’s number one target seat. In Bradord West, Zahid Iqbal is seeking to unseat Labour MP Marsha Singh in the constituencies which has changed boundaries.
One seat certain to have a Muslim MP is Bethnal Green & Bow, following George Galloway seeking re-election in the newly created Poplar and Limehouse constituency next door. Respect’s Abjol Miah is defending the seat, Labour’s Rushanara Ali is trying to regain it, while Ajmal Masroor and Zakir Khan are also candidates for the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives respectively.