Celebrating Britain's 101 Most Influential Asians 2024

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Shabana Mahmood


A SUCCESSFUL winning streak – notching up four election victories in her constituency of Ladywood in Birmingham – since 2010, Shabana Mahmood is seen as one of the Labour Party’s rising stars. She has been preparing for the upcoming general election by going over party leader Sir Keir Starmer’s career and picking out potential issues that could be used by the Conservatives to attack him, according to one report. The shadow justice secretary recently appeared on the BBC’s Political Thinking with Nick Robinson and was quizzed about the loss of trust among Muslim Labour supporters who vehemently disagree with the party’s stance on the conflict in Gaza. Sir Keir Starmer resisted all calls for an immediate ceasefire and the recent parliamentary debate in February turned into a farce when Commons speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, enabled a vote on an amendment put forward by the Labour Party and therefore diffusing a stronger anti-war position put forward by the Scottish National Party. It had submitted a motion calling for an “immediate ceasefire” and “an end to the collective punishment of the Palestinian people”.

Commentators said Labour did not want to take a stand on the SNP motion as it was too critical of Israel and instead backed what it called a “humanitarian ceasefire”, also arguing that Israel “cannot be expected to cease fighting if Hamas continues with violence”. In other words, in plain speak, Labour wanted to say there was fault on all sides and not be seen to take a stand that was seen as being anti-Palestinian and wanted to be even-handed – even though many of the party’s critics, especially from some sections of the Muslim community, had felt severely let down by the way the party was handling the whole Gaza conflict. Mahmood handled the probe with a deft

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