Shabana Mahmood THE woman who succeeds the popular Birmingham MP Clare Short and who is just as passionate and outspoken as her famous predecessor.
says her election is mile stone for other womens to follow suite get involved with the political process.
Pakistan-origin Barrister Shabana Mahmood romped home to beat off a Liberal Democrat challenge, taking Birmingham Ladywood for Labour.
Shabana Mahmood has barely started her political career in the public eye and already she has come through a difficult and at times heated selection contest to become the Labour candidate for Ladywood at the next General Election.
As the 27-year-old daughter of a Labour Party official, she has already had to deal with allegations of nepotism, rumours of a party split on race lines between Asian and Afro-Caribbean factions as well as snipes from those opposed to women only shortlists.
But it is clear the barrister is anything but a party automaton and from the outset has set out her stall as a passionate opponent of the Iraq War and the 42 day detention of terror suspects.
It was the conduct of the Iraq War which led to Ms Shorts resignation from the Labour Party in 2006, a decision which went down well in her constituency and opened the door for a new candidate to come forward.
Shabana, who was born and raised in Small Heath, said: Clare has raised the profile of Ladywood and I aim to build on that. She was also outspoken and not afraid to stand up for her beliefs.
I am a Labour Party member and share 99.9 per cent of the partys aims and policies. But there are issues such as the Iraq War and 42 days over which I disagree with the party line.
And arriving at a difficult time for the Government, Shabana says the party needs to promote its record on the economy, education and its core values of fairness and social justice and to not fall for short term gimmicks.
The polls are volatile, this is not where we will be in two years time, she said.
Shabana, is a twin and one of four children family of Pakistani origins.
Her father Mahmood Ahmed, a civil engineer, is the chairman of the Birmingham Labour Party.
(source birmingham mail)