- Sayeeda Warsi, Baroness Warsi
The Right Honourable
name = Sayeeda Warsi
Baroness Warsi of Dewsbury, QC, PC
birth_date = birth date and age|1971|03|28
birth_place = flagicon|UK
office = Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion
2 July 2007
term_end = present
party= Conservative Party
Warsi was born in
Dewsburyin 1971 to Pakistani parents. She was educated at Birkdale High School, Dewsbury College, and the University of Leedswhere she read Law (LLB). She attended the York College of Lawto complete her Legal Practice Course and trained both with the Crown Prosecution Serviceand the Home Office Immigration Department.
After qualifying as a Solicitor, she worked for John Whitfield, the last Conservative Member of Parliament for Dewsbury at Whitfield Hallam Goodall Solicitors and then went on to set up her own specialist practice George Warsi Solicitors in Dewsbury. She has also worked overseas for the Ministry of Law in Pakistan and in
Kashmiras Chairman of the Savayra Foundation, a women's empowerment charity.
Warsi was the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Dewsbury at the 2005 General Election, becoming the first Muslim woman to be selected by the Conservatives. She lost that election by nearly 5000 votes. She has served as a special adviser to
Michael Howardon Community Relations and was appointed by David Cameronas Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party with specific responsibility for Cities.
In its December edition, the "
New Statesman" 'revealed' that Warsi received support for her general election campaign from Lord Ahmed, a Labour peer. [ [http://www.newstatesman.com/200611300000 Labour peer urged support for Tories in 2005 election] - " New Statesman" - 30 November, 2006] According to the New Statesman's report, Warsi "welcomed Lord Ahmed's support".
2 July 2007it was announced that, despite her failure to be elected to the House of Commons, Warsi would become Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion and a working peer. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6262664.stm Profile: Sayeeda Warsi] - BBC News- Monday, July 02 2007] Her peerage was conferred as Baroness Warsi, of Dewsburyin the County of West Yorkshire on 11 October 2007and gazetted on 26 October 2007. [ [http://www.parliament.uk/directories/house_of_lords_information_office/new_members.cfm UK Parliament - New Members ] ] [LondonGazette
accessdate=2007-12-08 ] She is, by October 2007, the youngest member of the
House of Lords. [ [http://www.parliament.uk/faq/lords_members.cfm#mem3 UK Parliament - Members and principal office holders of the Lords ] ]
The Gay rights organisation
Stonewall, as well as several Labour politicians, have questioned her suitability for her current job due to leaflets for her election campaign which contained allegedly homophobic views. Some of her 2005 campaign leaflets claimed that Labour's lowering of the homosexual age of consent from 18 to 16 was "allowing schoolchildren to be propositioned for homosexual relationships", [http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-4917.html 'Homophobic' leaflet used again by Tory candidate] - "Pink News" - 11 July 2007] and that homosexuality was being peddled to children as young as seven in schools. [ [http://politics.guardian.co.uk/election/story/0,15803,1471081,00.html Adviser to Tory leader attacks gay sex laws] - " The Guardian", Wednesday 27 April 2005] On the subject, Warsi said that "I look back at lots of my election leaflets and think, 'God - why did I phrase it like that? What was I on?" adding "There was a whole team that was involved in my election leaflets. Looking back on it, maybe I could have used much better language than that", while adding her belief that sex education should be "out of the school system, initially" [http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-4917.html 'Homophobic' leaflet used again by Tory candidate] - "Pink News" - 11 July 2007] . Warsi also said that the removal of Section 28from the Local Government Act 1986 was 'the promotion of homosexuality'.
1 December 2007, Baroness Warsi travelled with Lord Ahmed to meet for talks with Sudanese officials and Ministers, in response to the jailing of an English teacher, Gillian Gibbons. Gibbons had been found guilty of insulting Islam, after allowing her class to name a teddy bearMohammed. This had resulted in her prosecution and a 15 day jail sentence. Baroness Warsi's and Lord Ahmed's meeting with the Sudanese president Omar al-Bashirled to Mrs Gibbons being pardoned" [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7126162.stm Teacher speaks of Sudan 'ordeal'] - BBC News- 4 December 2007] [http://politics.guardian.co.uk/conservatives/story/0,,2221450,00.html Tory peer's triumph delights Cameron] - The Guardian- 4 December 2007] .
* Miss Sayeeda Warsi (1971–2007)
* The Rt. Hon. The Baroness Warsi (2007–)
* [http://www.sayeedawarsi.com/ Official Website]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6262664.stm Baroness Warsi] at
* [http://www.conservatives.com/tile.do?def=people.person.page&personID=123492 Baroness Warsi] at conservatives.com
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