Rushanara Ali
Ali in June 2017
Shadow Minister for Education
In office
8 October 2013 – 26 September 2014
Leader Edward Miliband
Member of Parliament
for Bethnal Green and Bow
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by George Galloway
Majority 35,393 (72%)
Personal details
Born (1975-03-14) 14 March 1975 (age 49)

Rushanara Ali (born 14 March 1975) has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bethnal Green and Bow since 2010. Previously Shadow Minister for International Development, in the 2013 Labour reshuffle, Ali joined the Shadow Education team. She resigned from the Labour frontbench to abstain on a House of Commons motion permitting military action in Iraq in September 2014.

Parliamentary career

In April 2007, Ali was chosen as the Labour Party's prospective Parliamentary candidate for Bethnal Green and Bow. In May 2010, she was elected as a Member of Parliament with a majority of 11,574 votes. She is the first person of Bangladeshi origin to have been elected to the House of Commons, and along with Shabana Mahmood and Yasmin Qureshi, became one of the United Kingdom's first female Muslim MPs.

In April 2013, Ali was appointed a Governor of the UK government funded Westminster Foundation for Democracy.

In October 2013, Ali was appointed Shadow Minister for Education. On 26 September 2014, she resigned from the Labour frontbench Education team to abstain on the Coalition government's House of Commons motion permitting military action against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Iraq. In a letter to the leader of the party Edward Miliband, she wrote "I appreciate the sincerity of members of parliament from all sides of the House who today support military action against ISIL. I know that British Muslims stand united in the total condemnation of the murders that ISIL have committed. However, there is a genuine belief in Muslim and non-Muslim communities that military action will only create further bloodshed and further pain for the people of Iraq," Ali also told Miliband that she remained totally committed to his leadership and was looking forward to his becoming the prime minister in next eight months' time. In his return letter to Ali, Miliband praised her as 'someone with great ability and talent'. Regretting her departure from the frontbench team, the Labour leader added that he accepted the resignation with due respect to her decision.

Ali retained her seat at the 2015 general election, doubling her majority to 24,317 and earning a 61% share of the vote. In June 2015, she was one of 36 Labour MPs to nominate Jeremy Corbyn as a candidate in the Labour leadership election.

In April 2016, British Prime Minister David Cameron appointed Ali as UK trade envoy for Bangladesh, as part of cross party trade envoy network.

In June 2017, in the general election, Ali retained her seat with an increased majority of 35,393.