Naz ShahMember of Parliament for Bradford West
Since she burst onto the political scene in 2015, Naz Shah has never been far from the headlines. Her first general election campaign was a bitter one fought against the controversial former MP George Galloway: it garnered still more publicity because of the remarkably difficult life Bradford-born Shah has led. Shah and her family spent much of her childhood homeless and living in extreme poverty. She was forced into an arranged marriage in Pakistan aged just 15 and as a teenager was left to care for her siblings alone when her mother was imprisoned for the murder of an abusive drug dealer. Campaigning for her mother’s release brought Shah into politics and Shah has continued to be involved with women’s advocacy and mental health charities while also working at the NHS. In 2018, she organised an open letter signed by 145 parliamentarians condemning as racist the Trump supporters who chanted “send her back” at US Congresswomen Ilhan Omar during a rally. Shah has voted not to renew the Trident nuclear weapons. In 2018, Shah became shadow minister for women and equalities. In 2020, she was appointed shadow minister for community cohesion.
Official parliamentary photograph taken by Chris McAndrew, 2017, licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0