Naz Shah


Naseem Shah (Urdu: ناز شاہ; born 13 November 1973)[1] is a British Labour Party politician. She was elected at the 2015 general election as Member of Parliament (MP) for Bradford West, winning the seat from George Galloway of the Respect Party.[2][3] In July 2018, she was appointed to a junior Shadow Ministerial role as Shadow Minister of State for Women and Equalities, working alongside the Shadow Secretary of State, Dawn Butler.[4] She was briefly suspended from the Labour Party for antisemitic statements.[5]

Naz Shah

Shah in 2020
Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion
Assumed office
9 April 2020
LeaderKeir Starmer
Preceded byPosition established
Shadow Minister of State for Women and Equalities
In office
11 July 2018  9 April 2020
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded byDawn Butler
Succeeded byGill Furniss
Member of Parliament
for Bradford West
Assumed office
7 May 2015
Preceded byGeorge Galloway
Majority27,019 (61.0%)
Personal details
Born
Naseem Shah

(1973-11-13) 13 November 1973 (age 47)
Bradford, England
Political partyLabour
Websitewww.nazshahmp.org.uk

Early life


Naz Shah was born in Bradford.[6] Her father left the family when she was six years old. At age 12, she was sent to Pakistan by her mother, Zoora Shah, to escape her mother's abusive partner, where she had an arranged marriage.[6][7]

When she was 20, her mother was convicted of the murder of her partner, who had sexually and physically abused her for over a decade, and served 7 years in prison.[7][8]

Early career


Before being elected as an MP, Shah was the chair of mental health charity, Sharing Voices Bradford, and had previously worked as a carer for disabled people, as an NHS Commissioner and a director for a regional association supporting local councils.[9]

She has said that she voted for George Galloway at the Bradford West by-election in 2012.[10][11]

Working with the Southall Black Sisters, Shah campaigned for her mother's release from prison.[12]

Parliamentary career


In a secret ballot in February 2015 for selection as the Labour Party candidate for Bradford West, Amina Ali won with 142 votes against Shah's 13. However, Ali resigned shortly afterwards citing personal reasons[2][13][14][15] and Shah was chosen as the candidate by the Labour Party National Executive.[16][17][18] She won the Bradford West constituency in May 2015 with a majority of 11,420 over George Galloway.[19] When elected, she was one of nine Muslim Labour MPs.[12]

Shah endorsed Yvette Cooper during the Labour leadership contest in 2015.[20]

She was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, in February 2016.[21]

In April 2016, Shah was reported to have reposted in August 2014, during Operation Protective Edge, a Facebook post with a map from Norman Finkelstein's website showing Israel superimposed on the United States, with the headline "Solution for Israel-Palestine conflict - relocate Israel into United States".[22][23] She had added the comment that this might "save them some pocket money" (i.e. US funding for Israel).[24][25] Finkelstein defended the map as humorous.[26] Shah responded that her views on Israel had moderated, and stepped down as John McDonnell's PPS.[27][28] Jeremy Corbyn condemned her posted comment as "offensive and unacceptable". She was suspended from the Labour Party that month, pending investigation.[29][30] In July, she was reinstated but given a formal warning for bringing the party into disrepute and told to apologise.[31] Shah said she had shown "ignorance": that the post was antisemitic but she was not.[32]

At the general election in June 2017, Shah was re-elected with an increased vote share, and nearly doubled her majority to 21,902 votes over the second-placed Conservative Party candidate.[33][34]

In August 2017, Shah retweeted and liked a tweet from a 'parody' account claiming to belong to Labour member Owen Jones that read: "Those abused girls in Rotherham and elsewhere just need to shut their mouths. For the good of diversity".[35] After realising the account was not Jones' and re-reading the tweet, Shah deleted the retweet and unliked the original tweet. A spokesperson said: "This was a genuine accident eight days ago that was rectified within minutes."[36][37] Shah also claimed to have a record on challenging abuse.[35] In April 2018, following Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's death, Shah paid tribute by tweeting an image incorporating Mandela's quote: "Together, hand in hand, with our matches and our necklaces, we shall liberate this country", a reference to murders using petrol and tyres.[38] She later deleted the tweet.[39][38]

In July 2018, Shah was appointed Shadow Minister of State for Women and Equalities.[34][40]

Shah was re-elected as the MP for Bradford West at the 2019 general election with a majority of 27,019.[41]

On 1 October 2020, pro-Brexit group Leave.EU apologised and paid damages for libel to Shah after they made a social media post which accused her of being a "grooming gangs apologist". In a statement, Leave.EU said that their post was "ill-judged and untrue" and described Shah as a "vociferous campaigner for victims of grooming gangs".[42]

During a 14 June 2021 parliamentary debate on whether to implement two petitions on economic sanctions against Israel and on recognising the State of Palestine, Shah warned the incoming Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, that "if any more Palestinian blood is unjustly spilled under a perverted interpretation of a right to self-defence" that she would push for Israel to be tried before the International Criminal Court for war crimes.[43][44][45]

Personal life


During the early 2010s, Shah was injured in a hit-and-run collision, which has left her with ongoing periodic severe nerve pain which requires hospitalisation.[46]

References


  1. Hunter, Rosemary; McGlynn, Clare; Rackley, Erika (30 September 2010). Feminist Judgments: From Theory to Practice. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 279–. ISBN 978-1-84731-727-8. Archived from the original on 15 December 2019. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  2. "Bradford West Parliamentary constituency". BBC News. Archived from the original on 6 May 2015. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  3. Brooks, Libby (13 August 2015). "Yvette Cooper profile: 'You don't have to choose between head and heart'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 13 August 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  4. Becky Milligan. "Naz Shah: My words were anti-Semitic". BBC. Archived from the original on 22 July 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2018. The language I used was anti-Semitic, it was offensive," she said. "What I did was I hurt people and the language that was the clear anti-Semitic language
  5. "Naz Shah: My words were anti-Semitic". BBC News. 18 July 2016. Archived from the original on 22 July 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2021.
  6. "Murderer's daughter Naz Shah tells why she is standing for Parliament". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  7. Green, Chris (9 March 2015). "Naz Shah: Bradford West's Labour candidate pens emotional open letter explaining why she wants to be an MP". The Independent. Archived from the original on 3 May 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  8. Khaleeli, Homa (9 March 2015). "Bradford West Labour candidate Naz Shah: 'I lost my childhood'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 26 October 2020. Retrieved 21 October 2020.
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  10. "Meet our new MPs – Naz Shah". The labour Party. 26 June 2015. Archived from the original on 12 May 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  11. Pidd, Helen; Rhoden-Paul, André (9 April 2015). "George Galloway says his Labour opponent tried to join his party". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 30 April 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  12. Naz Shah: How Labour MP suspended over anti-semitic comments forged a political career after difficult childhood Archived 27 July 2018 at the Wayback Machine, Independent, Maya Oppenheim, 28 April 2016
  13. Moore, Suzanne. "Naz Shah's story is one of survival. Politics needs women like her". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 4 June 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  14. Akhtar, Parveen. "Labour candidate hands back the poisoned chalice of Bradford West". The Conversation. Archived from the original on 26 March 2018. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
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  22. "The man whose map triggered Labour's antisemitism scandal is Jewish. That shouldn't matter". The Independent. 4 May 2016. Archived from the original on 31 March 2019. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
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  26. The American Jewish scholar behind Labour’s ‘antisemitism’ scandal breaks his silence Archived 21 July 2018 at the Wayback Machine, Jamie Stern Weiner and Norman Finkelstein, 3 May 2016, Open Democracy
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  38. "Labour MP Naz Shah's 'necklacing' Winnie Mandela tweet denounced". The Times. 4 April 2018. Archived from the original on 4 April 2018. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  39. "Labour MP Naz Shah deletes unfortunate tribute to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela". Talkradio. 3 April 2018. Archived from the original on 4 April 2018. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
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  41. "Bradford West parliamentary constituency - Election 2019". BBC News. 19 December 2019. Archived from the original on 14 September 2019. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
  42. "Bradford MP Naz Shah gets apology for 'horrendous' Leave.EU post". BBC News. 1 October 2020. Archived from the original on 3 October 2020. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
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  44. "UK MPs debate petitions calling for sanctions on Israel, Palestinian statehood". Middle East Eye. 14 June 2021. Archived from the original on 16 June 2021. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  45. Naz Shah (14 June 2021). "Israel and Palestine". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 697. Parliament of the United Kingdom: House of Commons.
  46. Pidd, Helen (20 June 2018). "Ailing MP wheeled into Commons in pyjamas criticises Tory whips". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 20 June 2018. Retrieved 21 June 2018.