Two Muslim candidates vie for Manchester Gorton parliamentary seat

Afzal Khan

Two Muslim candidates have confirmed their intention to run for the Labour safe seat of Manchester Gorton which was vacated by the death of Gerald Kaufmann MP.

Labour MEP Afzal Khan and Moston councillor Yasmine Dar will vie with Momentum activist Sam Wheeler and teacher Karl Eastham for the parliamentary seat which Kaufmann won with a majority of over 24,000 at the 2015 General Election.

Khan is currently a Labour MEP for the North West of England, and the former solicitor and police constable is well known locally.

Khan said in a post on his Facebook page: “I don’t have a typical politician’s background. I came to this country as a child, having been adopted out of poverty. Manchester has been my home for 40 years. I studied here, got married here and my children were born and raised here. It’s a world class city and a place that I love.”

Yasmine Dar

“I’ve never been a career politician. I left school with no qualifications and started work at 16. After working in a cotton mill, as a bus driver and a Greater Manchester police officer, I studied law as a mature student whilst caring for my wife and two young children. Qualifying as a solicitor I worked my way up to become a partner at my own law firm in Gorton.

“As a former Manchester councillor, Lord Mayor and now an MEP, I’m a proven campaigner, with a track record of hard work and delivering for my constituents. I’ve got the experience to make a difference as Gorton’s MP and I’ll hit the ground running from day one.”

Meanwhile, a councillor in Moston in Manchester has also announced that she will also enter the selection. Yasmine Dar has lived in the seat for 40 years and is a social worker with 20 years’ experience in the social and welfare sector.

Dar, who has worked as a service manager for mental health charity Rethink and is a member of the Greater Manchester police independent advisory group, said: “I am involved in many initiatives supporting the communities of Manchester, to build bridges and strengthen relationships. I have worked closely with the Peace foundation, Remembering Srebrenica charity and MCC in the area of community cohesion, celebrating difference and valuing our commonalities. This has further resulted in me being involved with the Hate Forum at Manchester cathedral and being a representative on panel discussions challenging hate and intolerance.”

There are also rumours that George Galloway may be considering entering the contest as an independent.

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