Afzal Khan (British politician)

Mohammed Afzal Khan, CBE (Urdu: محمد افضل خان; born 5 April 1958) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Manchester Gorton constituency since June 2017.

Afzal Khan

Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons
Assumed office
9 April 2020
LeaderKeir Starmer
Preceded byKarin Smyth
Shadow Minister for South Asia, Africa and the Commonwealth
In office
13 January 2020  9 April 2020
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded byLiz McInnes
Succeeded byStephen Kinnock (Asia & Pacific)
Stephen Doughty (Africa)
Shadow Minister of State for Immigration
In office
7 July 2017  13 January 2020
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded byKeir Starmer
Succeeded byBell Ribeiro-Addy
Member of Parliament
for Manchester Gorton
Assumed office
8 June 2017
Preceded bySir Gerald Kaufman
Majority30,339 (68.1%)
Member of the European Parliament
for North West England
In office
13 June 2014  8 June 2017
Preceded byChris Davies
Succeeded byWajid Khan
Lord Mayor of Manchester
In office
Preceded byTom O'Callaghan
Succeeded byJames Ashley
Personal details
Born (1958-04-05) 5 April 1958 (age 63)
Jhelum, Pakistan
Political party UK
Labour Party (Co-op)
Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
WebsiteOfficial website

He was formerly Lord Mayor of Manchester for the year 2005–2006, and served as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for North West England from 2014 to 2017.

Early life

Khan was born in Pakistan and came to the UK aged 11. After leaving school without qualifications, he had a number of jobs, including as a Greater Manchester Police constable, before returning to education and qualifying as a solicitor:[1] He is now a partner of solicitors Mellor & Jackson in Oldham.[2]

Political career

Local government

Khan was first elected a Labour Councillor in 2000,[3] being re-elected in 2004, 2007 and 2011, representing Cheetham Ward.

He served as Executive Member for Children's Services.[4][5]

Khan became the first Muslim Lord Mayor of Manchester, taking the position for 2005–2006.[1][6][7][8][9]

In 2010, Khan was appointed CBE for his race relations work.

In 2011, Khan was suggested as a candidate for Oldham East and Saddleworth. In 2012, he was a potential candidate for the Bradford West by-election but lost the nomination to Imran Hussain, who was defeated by Respect Party candidate, George Galloway.

European Parliament

Khan was selected in February 2013 on the Labour Party's list for North West England at the European Parliamentary election of 2014[10] and, on 22 May 2014, he was returned as MEP to the European Parliament to represent North West England.

In January 2016, Khan was appointed by the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament as Special Representative to Muslim Communities.[11] In this function, Khan visited Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, France and Denmark for work with local Muslim communities and invited groups of young Muslims to the Parliament.[12]

Khan campaigning with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as part of the cancelled Manchester Gorton by-election.

Parliamentary career

In March 2017, he applied to be Labour's candidate in the 2017 Manchester Gorton by-election[13] and was officially selected on 22 March.[14] During the by-election, he said "I condemn the statements made by Ken Livingstone and I believe there is no place for anti-Semitism in the Labour Party." He added, "I have been a lifelong campaigner against racism and anti-Semitism. In 2008, I was awarded a CBE in part for my work encouraging greater understanding between Muslims and Jews. I intend to continue this work if I am elected as MP for Manchester Gorton."[15]

The by-election was cancelled following the dissolution of Parliament for the early general election on 8 June 2017.[16] Khan was again selected for as the Labour candidate for the general election and was elected, becoming Manchester's first Muslim MP.[17] In July 2017, Khan was appointed Shadow Immigration Minister.[18][19]

In July 2019, Khan apologised for having shared on Facebook two years earlier a video of American comedian Jon Stewart talking about Benjamin Netanyahu. The text under the video referred to an "Israel-British-Swiss-Rothschilds crime syndicate" and "mass murdering Rothschilds Israeli mafia criminal liars". Khan said he was "mortified", adding "I didn't read the text below, which contained an anti-Semitic conspiracy about the Rothschilds. I would never have shared it if I had seen that".[20]

Other roles

From 2000 to 2004, Khan was a member of the Department of Trade and Industry's Ethnic Minority Business Forum,[21] advising the then Secretary of State, Patricia Hewitt.

Following the 2005 London bombings, he became a member of a Home Office working group aimed at preventing extremism.[22]

He has also served as Assistant Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain[23] and is its North West representative.[24][25]

He is a co-founder of the Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester.[9]

Khan has appeared on Channel M documentaries and worked extensively with Manchester historian Jonathan Schofield.

He was appointed as parliamentary chair for the Labour Muslim Network in August 2020.[26]

Other events

In March 2018, Khan received a suspicious package containing an anti-Islamic letter and sticky liquid. The substance was later found to be harmless. Similar packages were received by fellow Labour MPs Mohammad Yasin, Rushanara Ali and Rupa Huq.[27][28]

Personal life

Khan's daughter Maryam was a Councillor on Manchester City Council, for Longsight.[29]

See also


  1. "My work space". The Guardian. 27 August 2005.
  2. "Mellor & Jackson – Oldham Solicitors". Mellor & Jackson.
  3. "Local election results 2011". Manchester City Council. Archived from the original on 5 August 2012. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
  4. "The Executive Members in 2019 / 2020 | The Members of the Executive | Manchester City Council".
  5. "Afzal Khan meets Sheikh Sultan".
  6. "Praise for Asian mayor". South Manchester Reporter. 7 July 2005. Retrieved 19 March 2010.
  7. Khan, Afzal. "Mayor of the Year". Archived from the original on 9 January 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  8. Khan, Afzal. "Former Lord Mayor Receives CBE Award".
  9. Khan, Afzal. "Afzal Khan Receives 'Spirit of Britain' Award".
  10. Williams, Jennifer (28 February 2013). "Former mayor of Manchester Afzal Khan in European election race". men.
  11. "S&D appoints Special Representative for EU Muslims". 26 January 2016. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  12. "A Europe beyond politics: Rediscovering our humanity is the way forward". New Europe. 25 April 2016. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  13. "Updated: The activists aiming to be Labour's next MP in Manchester Gorton - LabourList". 15 March 2017.
  14. Williams, Jennifer (23 March 2017). "North west MEP Afzal Khan selected as Labour candidate for Gorton by-election". men. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  15. Williams, Jennifer (5 April 2017). "Labour by-election candidate condemns claims by Ken Livingstone that Hitler supported Zionism". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  16. "Manchester Gorton by-election cancelled because of general election". BBC News. 19 April 2017. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  17. "Statement of Persons Nominated". Retrieved 30 April 2017.[permanent dead link]
  18. "Reshuffle 2: The Maintenance of the Malcontents". New Socialist. 8 July 2017. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  19. "Jeremy Corbyn appoints 20 MPs to Labour's front bench". Labour Press. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  20. Box, Dan (26 July 2019). "Shadow minister's 'anti-Semitism' apology". BBC News.
  21. "The challenge for ethnic businesses". Asian Business Review.
  22. "Preventing Extremism Together" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 September 2012.
  23. "Afzal Khan". Retrieved 19 March 2010.
  24. "Founding signatories". Unite Against Fascism. Retrieved 19 March 2010.
  25. "Ajmun Ruler receives Lord Mayor Afzal Khan". 2005.
  26. Afzal appointed Parliamentary Chair of Labour Muslim Network. Afzal Khan (2020-08-05). Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  27. "Third MP gets Islamophobic letter". BBC News. 13 March 2018. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  28. Elgot, Jessica (13 March 2018). "Four Muslim MPs receive suspicious packages at Westminster". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  29. "Could it be Minister Maryam?". Manchester Evening News. 14 August 2007. Archived from the original on 12 November 2012.