Anum Qaisar-Javed has become the latest Muslim MP in Westminster after the Scottish National Party won the Airdrie and Shotts by-election.
The 28 year old is a modern studies teacher who was a Labour activist until the independence referendum in 2014.
She won the seat with a reduced majority of 1,757 over her Labour opponent, local councillor Kenneth Stevenson. She received 10,129 votes, with Labour second on 8,372.
However, turnout was low, at just 34.3 per cent.
After her win Qaisar-Javed talked about the need for more diversity. “We talk about reasons such as a lack of role models, and it has taken till 2021, but now we have two women of colour in the Scottish Parliament,” she said.
“But I don’t just want women of colour to look at me, or people of colour, I want anyone from any minority group to be able to look at me and say ‘if she can do it, so can I’.”
She also promised she would “fight for independence.”
“The initial priority has to be the Covid recovery, we have just gone through a pandemic, people have really struggled this last year. And as we move through the pandemic and when the time is right, then yes of course we will be looking to campaign for another independence referendum, as is the right of people of Scotland. Whatever the result is of that referendum, so be it, but that choice is of paramount importance.”
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon tweeted her “massive congratulations” after the result was announced in the early hours of the morning.
There are now 18 Muslim MPs in Parliament:
Rushanara Ali – Bethnal Green & Bow
Yasmin Qureshi – Bolton South East
Shabana Mahmood – Birmingham Ladypool
Naz Shah – Bradford West
Imran Hussein – Bradford East
Khalid Mahmood – Birmingham Perry Barr
Mohammed Yasin – Bedford
Tulip Siddiq – Hampstead & Kilburn
Rupa Huq – Ealing Central & Acton
Rosena Allin-Khan – Tooting
Afzal Khan – Manchester Gorton
Apsana Begum – Poplar & Limehouse
Zarah Sultana – Coventry South
Tahir Ali – Birmingham Hall Green
Rehman Chishti – Gillingham & Rainham
Nusrat Ghani – Wealden
Saqib Bhatti – Meriden
Scottish National Party