Celebrating Britain's 101 Most Influential Asians 2024

© Asian Media Group - 2024


Anas Sarwar


WHEN Scottish Labour named Anas Sarwar their new leader in February 2021, the Glasgow Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) set a political precedent by becoming the first Muslim and person of colour to head a major political party in the UK. It was only in March 2023 that Humza Yousaf became First Minister of Scotland for the ruling Scottish National Party following Nicola Sturgeon stepping down. Rishi Sunak became prime minister in October 2022.

Labour Party strategists believe that a significant corner has been turned – following La bour’s dramatic by-election victory over the SNP in Rutherglen and Hamilton West in October 2023 with a 20 per cent swing. Some pollsters believe Labour hold about 35 per cent of the vote in Scotland and are capable of beating the SNP in both Westminster and Holyrood elections. Sarwar, who has been at the forefront of Scottish politics for a decade, was uncharacteristically bullish in his speech at Labour’s annual conference, delivered soon after the election results. “Now no SNP MP can sit safely, taking their communities for granted as so many have,” he said, adding: “Labour can now beat the SNP across Scotland.

” He can indeed relish this victory, Scottish Labour’s first parliamentary by-election in over 12 years, as the party was 32 points behind the SNP in the polls when he became leader around three years ago. Sarwar, who turns 41 in March, was first elected as an MP in 2010 from Glasgow Central, a seat represented by his father Mohammed, the UK’s first Muslim MP, since 1997. In 2016 he was elected to the Scottish Parliament as MSP for Glasgow, and a year later he launched his first bid at party leadership, which was unsuccessful, though. Before venturing into politics, Sarwar worked as a dentist in the

To continue reading, please register

Already register? Login