Thursday, May 23, 2013

Rushanara Ali - MP for Bethnal Green and Bow

Rushanara Ali is a British Labour Party politician and Associate Director of the Young Foundation, who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bethnal Green and Bow since 2010. She is currently part of the shadow team for the Department for International Development along with Tony Cunningham and led by Ivan Lewis.

Rushanara Ali was born in Bangladesh on 14 March 1975. With her family, Ali immigrated to the East End of London at the age of seven, where she attended Mulberry School for Girls and Tower Hamlets College. Growing up in Tower Hamlets, her father was a manual worker. The first in her family to go to university, Ali studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at St John's College, Oxford.

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Rushanara Ali was elected as the Member of Parliament for Bethnal Green and Bow at the UK General Election in May 2010. She moved to the UK with her family from Bangladesh when she was 7 years old. Her achievements are the achievements of teachers and youth workers at Mulberry School and Tower Hamlets College. It was their support and belief in her which led her to a place at Oxford University and jobs in Parliament, the Institute for Public Policy and Research, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Home Office and now as the MP for Bethnal Green and Bow.

Biography of Rushanara Ali:
Rushanara Ali is the Labour Member of Parliament for Bethnal Green and Bow. She was elected in May 2010 with a majority of 11,574, having defeated George Galloway’s Respect Party.

In October 2010, Rushanara was appointed to the Labor front bench as Shadow Minister for International Development. As part of this role she is the Labour spokesperson on International Development matters for Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, climate change, conflict and stabilisation as well as gender equality.

Prior to her election in May 2010, she was Associate Director of the Young Foundation. She previously worked at the Communities Directorate of the Home Office, leading a work programme in response to the 2001 disturbances in the North of England (2002-2005).

Rushanara has worked on human rights issues at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (2000-2001); as a Research Fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research (1999-2002) and as Parliamentary Assistant for Oona King, former MP for Bethnal Green & Bow (1997-1999).

She has also worked as the Research Assistant to Lord Young of Dartington (author of the 1945 Labour Party manifesto), helping him to set up Futureversity (formerly known as Tower Hamlets Summer University) and Language Line, a national telephone interpreting company.

Little about the Bethnal Green and Bow:
The heart of London’s East End, Bethnal Green and Bow is a wonderfully diverse community, with a rich and deep history and proud political heritage. The East End has inspired many men and women to make history and fight for social justice. Some of the greatest social reforms of the past 100 years- the trade union movement, Suffragettes and the welfare state have come from ideas inspired by the East End and it's people.

Bethnal Green and Bow is known for its vibrancy, its cultural activity, its places and its people. Whitechapel gallery, Columbia Road flower market, and Spitalfields market are just some of the places that attract thousands of locals and visitors from around the world.

Iconic places Brick Lane tell an extraordinary history of Britain. Brick Lane was the first place many waves of migrants called home, from the Huguenots, Jews, Irish, Pakistanis, Bengalis, to the Somalis to name just a few. The richness of contributions made by so many generations is manifested poignantly in the Brick Lane Jamme Masjid. Originally built by the Huguenots for Christian worshippers, it later became a synagogue and is now a mosque.

The spirit of people from the East End is steeped in courage and determination as well as sacrifice and loss. The worst civilian loss of life in Britain during the Second World War was the Bethnal Green tube disaster. On the 3rd March 1943, 173 people lost their lives in the Bethnal Green and Bow tube station whilst seeking shelter from air raids during the blitz bombings. 

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