Only three Muslims elected in European Parliamentary elections

28th Jun 2019
Only three Muslims elected in European Parliamentary elections

Left, MEP Magid Magid (Photo: John Lubbock/WikiCommons)
Right, MEP Shaffaq Mohammed (Photo courtesy Shaffaq Mohammed)

Azba Wahid

Only three Muslims were elected in the UK’s European Elections last month, none from the Labour Party. Only one was re-elected, the rest are new Members of European Parliament (MEPs).

The new Brexit Party won 29 seats out of total of 73, followed by Liberal Democrats with 17, Labour 10, Green 7, Conservatives 4, SNP 3, Plaid Cymru 1, Sinn Fein 1, DUP 1, APNI 1.

Out of five sitting MEPs, only one was re-elected. The four who lost the elections are: Syed Kamall (C), Sajjad Karim (C), Amjad Bashir (C), Wajid Khan (L). Baroness Nosheena Mobarik (C) was re-elected. Other MEPs elected are: Shaffaq Mohammed (LibDem) and Magid Magid (Green).

Shaffaq Mohammed, who was born in Kashmir and migrated to the UK at the age of 4, has been with the Liberal Democrats since the early 2000. The MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber campaigned to prevent Brexit and supported the People’s Vote, he told The Muslim News.

The former Sheffield City Councillor intends to follow through with his promise to stop Brexit. He claims that this is not the time to be “sitting on the fence as the Labour Party have been doing. The hardest thing for people to do is break free from their traditional parties they are loyal to, but because people did it during this election there is nothing to stop them from doing it again”.

He claims because of the “significant increase” in votes for the Lib Dems during the EU elections, “it could be an indicator of how the party will perform in the next general election”. As Vince Cable has resigned as party leader, Mohammed said he is supporting Sir Ed Davey for the leadership contest.

Magid Magid, as Lord Mayor of Sheffield, between May 2018 and May 2019, said he had “banned” US President Donal Trump from the city of Sheffield. Magid arrived in the UK as a refugee from Somalia, and many of his policies have centred around championing the rights of immigrants and refugees, part of this includes the slogan ‘Immigrants make Britain’, a play on Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’.

In line with the Green Party’s ethos, Magid also campaigned on climate change, and told The Muslim News that he intends to “bring this to the forefront of discussions in the European Parliament after stopping Brexit.”

For both Magid and Mohammed, preventing Brexit is a priority, despite the polarised opinion of the British public. Nevertheless, MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber, Magid also suggests that the public is “tired with the same old parties”, and “are seeking an alternative which the Green Party could be as the main anti-austerity party”. In terms of his approach to campaigning and the European Parliament, Magid has always been “loud and proud”, making his message “positive, starkly contrasting the methods of the Brexit Party”.

The third British Muslim MEP, Baroness Nosheena Mobarik, representing Scotland, did not respond to our request for an interview. The Tory MEP says on her website that she has “championed business development and greater social cohesion within Scotland and internationally” and has a special interest in “promoting harmonious relationships between business and the communities, such that both can thrive.”

The two Tory MEPs who lost in the elections, Syed Kamall and Sajjad Karim, agreed that they “bore the brunt” of Brexit.

Syed Kamall, from London, who was the Leader of the Conservatives in the EU Parliament, told The Muslim News the reason he lost was because “Our vote was severely squeezed. Some people blamed the Conservatives for the UK not leaving the EU on March 29.  We also lost votes from those who were unhappy that we were trying to leave the EU at all. People were frustrated with politics and the political system and the Conservative vote bore the brunt.”

Sajjad Karim, former MEP for North West England, said the reason why the Conservatives did badly in the EU elections, was because they took place in an “unprecedented fashion with the backdrop of great confusion in the minds of the electorate who sought clarity. This quest for a clear pathway led to a surge in support for those parties that gave clear simple answers which on the face of it are attractive quick fixes but in reality are not solutions at all. But a no deal Brexit or a no Brexit at all, without first going back to the people are not solutions, but this is where the voters turned.”

He added that his party had “abandoned the election battlefield in a national election of huge importance” and the “vacuum left was filled by others and that political space will not automatically revert to us in the future”, he warned.

Leave a Comment

What is 15 + 10 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

Latest Tweets