By: Swati Rana
The 2021 Scottish Parliament election has witnessed the victory of some ethnic minorities, elected as the Member of Scottish Parliament. Read about them below:
FOYSOL CHOUDHURY: First Bangladeshi origin to mark presence in Scottish Parliament
Scottish Labour’s Foysol Choudhury becomes the first ethnic minority MSP in the Lothians. He is a Bangladeshi-born British businessman and chairman of the Edinburgh and Lothian’s Regional Equality Council (ELREC). As a teenager, Choudhary was involved with the ELREC. In 2013 he was re-elected as the chairman ELREC for the fourth term. He has served the ELREC as a trustee, company secretary, and vice chair as well. In the 2017 general election, Choudhury was selected as the Labour candidate for the Edinburgh South West constituency, but was not elected and finished in third place.
Choudhary was born in Bangladesh and grew up in Edinburgh after his father moved to Scotland and later settled in Edinburgh in 1982. While he was studying at Edinburgh University, Choudhury took responsibility for his ailing father’s business, which he expanded. He is now an entrepreneur with an interest in catering, hospitality, finance, and real estate across the UK and in Bangladesh.
In 1991, Choudhury co-founded the Edinburgh Mela, an annual multi-cultural festival held in Edinburgh. He serves as the vice-chair of the mela. In 2010, he was elected as the chairman of the Bangladesh Samity Edinburgh and organises annual celebrations for Bangladesh Independence Day.
PAM GOSAL: First Sikh woman from Indian-origin elected to Scottish Parliament
Pam Gosal, a 53-year-old businesswoman is the first Sikh woman to be elected to the Scottish parliament. Gosal received 14.1 per cent of the votes cast or 4,153 votes for Clydebank and Milngavie constituency. She was elected as a Conservative Member of Scottish Parliament (MSP) via the West of Scotland list. She contested the 2019 general election for the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party as a Parliamentary candidate for East Dunbartonshire and finished in third place.
Gosal was born in Glasgow, Scotland. She helped run her family business before working in local government and prior to being elected to the Scottish Parliament. She has completed a BA in Consumer Law, MBA and is currently finishing her PhD.
SANDESH GULHANE: A Doctor turned politician
Sandesh Gulhane is a doctor and a Scottish Conservative politician. He has been elected as a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Glasgow. He is the first male of Indian descent to be elected to the Scottish Parliament. Gulhane was apparently prompted to enter politics following the issues of out-of-date PPE and mental health problems during the pandemic.
Gulhane was born and educated in London and worked as a GP in Glasgow. He has been Club Doctor as part of the medical staff of SPFL football club Queens Park F.C. since 2017.
ANAS SARWAR: Leader of the Scottish Party
Anas Sarwar was elected leader of the Scottish Labour Party in the 2021 leadership election. He has been a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the Glasgow region since 2016, having served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Glasgow Central from 2010 to 2015.
When he was elected at the 2010 General Election as MP for Glasgow Central, he succeeded his father Mohammad Sarwar; who was the first-ever Muslim MP in the UK. He was elected by colleagues to serve on the International Development Select Committee. His parliamentary interests included foreign policy and international development, with areas of concern being Palestine and Kashmir. He was also co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on anti-corruption and was a member of the Welfare Reform Bill Committee.
He lost his seat to the Scottish National Party (SNP) at the 2015 general election. In the 2016 Scottish Parliament election, he was elected on the Glasgow regional list.
Born to Pakistani Muslim parents in Glasgow, Sarwar was educated at the independent Hutchesons’ Grammar School and studied general dentistry at the University of Glasgow. He worked as a dentist in Paisley till the time he was elected as Member of Parliament for Glasgow Central at the 2010 general election. In the Commons, he served as deputy leader of the Scottish Labour Party from 2011 to 2014.
As the leader of Scottish Labour in the 2021 Scottish Parliament election, Sarwar pledged to reduce poverty and inequality in Scotland.
Following the resignation of Richard Leonard in 2021, Sarwar was elected as leader of the Scottish Labour Party, winning 57.56 per cent of the vote.
Sarwar unsuccessfully stood against Nicola Sturgeon in Glasgow Southside at the 2021 Scottish Parliament election.
KAUKAB STEWART: First women of Pakistani descent elected as MSP
Kaukab Stewart was a teacher before she joined Scottish National Party (SNP). She became a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Glasgow Kelvin in May 2021. She is one of the first women of colour elected to the Scottish Parliament, alongside Pam Gosal. She is also the first female of Pakistani descent to serve as an elected member in the Scottish Parliament. In the 1999 Scottish Parliament election, she stood unsuccessfully as a SNP candidate against Donald Dewar for Glasgow Anniesland. In September 2020 she emerged as an SNP candidate for the forthcoming elections. On Saturday (8), she was elected as MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, with a majority of 5,458 votes.
HUMZA YOUSAF: Wins again
In the 2021 Scottish Parliament election, Humza Haroon Yousaf won by 18,163 votes for Glasgow Pollok constituency.
He is a Scottish National Party (SNP) politician who has served as Cabinet Secretary for Justice since 2018. He previously served as minister for External Affairs and International Development from 2012 until 2014 and as minister for Europe and International Development from 2014 until 2016. He was minister for Transport and the Islands from 2016 until 2018.
In 2012, Yousaf became the first non-white and first Muslim member of the Scottish Government to be appointed as a minister.
He was just 25 when he was sworn in as the MSP in May 2011.
He is the first Scottish Asian and Muslim to be appointed as a minister to the Scottish Government.