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    Congratulations to Sayeeda Warsi

    by Sunny on 2nd July, 2007 at 7:07 pm    

    In David Cameron’s reshuffle today, Sayeeda Warsi has become the first Asian / Muslim (man or woman) to reach the cabinet, albeit not in government. She is now the Conservative party’s shadow minister for community cohesion. She is very intelligent and articulate and Cameron has made a good choice. The party may ensure she gets a safe Tory seat before the General Election or be awarded a peerage (see comments).
    Update: Although I somewhat agree with Dizzy on her earlier stances.

    TMP blog has more on other ethnic minority candidates promoted by Gordon Brown this week in his re-shuffle.

                  Post to del.icio.us

    Filed in: Party politics

    17 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs

    1. Unity — on 2nd July, 2007 at 7:21 pm  

      She won’t be getting a seat in the Commons, Sunny. She’s getting a peerage, which is the only way she can be appointed a minister at the moment.

    2. Unity — on 2nd July, 2007 at 7:43 pm  

      Oh dear…


      “A CONSERVATIVE activist has fuelled mistrust of the police in Muslim communities by making false statements on the detention of terror suspects.

      Sayeeda Warsi, a rising star of David Cameron’s party, said that almost 900 “innocent people” had been “locked up for 14 days” under anti-terrorism laws. In reality, 36 terror suspects have been detained for more than seven days. Of the 10 who were freed without charge, none was held for 14 days.

      Mrs Warsi, 34, the Conservative vice-chairman with responsibility for cities, asserted that the tightening of anti-terrorist legislation had turned Britain into “a police state”.

      The claims appear in an article that she wrote for Awaaz, a newspaper read by Asians that is distributed in the West Yorkshire towns and cities that were home to the July 7 suicide bombers. Readers were told by Mrs Warsi that the Government’s anti-terror proposals were “enough to tip any normal young man into the realms of a radicalised fanatic”. ”


      “Mrs Warsi, a lawyer, appeared on Newsnight on BBC Two last week as one of Mr Cameron’s elite A-list of Tories chosen to fight safe or winnable seats.

      A campaign leaflet issued last year when she stood for Dewsbury, and in which she is seen wearing a Western business suit, focused on mainstream Tory issues including Europe — “Sayeeda Warsi believes in putting Britain first”. In a second leaflet, in which she wears a shalwar kameez, her concerns are homosexuality, which Labour is accused of promoting, and the “illegal” war in Iraq, which she says “may lead to further military action in places such as Syria, Lebanon and Iran”. ”

      She’s going to get crucified once this does the rounds.

    3. Unity — on 2nd July, 2007 at 7:50 pm  

      And here’s the original leaflet story from 2005…


      “n her leaflet Mrs Warsi, the Conservatives’ first female Muslim candidate, says: “Labour has scrapped section 28 which was introduced by the Conservatives to stop schools promoting alternative sexual lifestyles such as homosexuality to children as young as seven years old… now schools are allowed and do promote homosexuality and other alternative sexual lifestyles to your children.

      “Labour reduced the age of consent for homosexuality from 18 to 16 allowing school children to be propositioned for homosexual relationships.”

      Later in her leaflet Mrs Warsi is quoted saying: “I will campaign strongly for an end to sex education at seven years and the promotion of homosexuality that undermines family life.”

    4. Rumbold — on 2nd July, 2007 at 7:57 pm  

      You should not have crossed out part of your post Sunny. Unity is correct to point out that if there was a general election tomorrow, Sayeeda Warsi would sit in cabinet as a member of the Lords. However, given Dave’s ‘modern’ approach to things, it is likely that the Tories will try and find a safe seat for her so that they can say that they have British Asian Tory MPs (ergo the Tories are not racist because Tory voters voted for her).

    5. Unity — on 2nd July, 2007 at 8:06 pm  


      I’m pretty sure that working peers are still disqualified from standing for election to the Commons, unless they give up their peerage.

      Viscount Thurso of Ulbster does sit in the Commons as a Lib Dem MP, but was eligible for election only because he lost his seat in the Lords with the removal of the majority of the hereditaries.

    6. Sunny — on 2nd July, 2007 at 8:34 pm  

      Unity, I wouldn’t trust Asian papers much, especially the freesheets up north. They are prone to changing things around or writing completely idiotic headlines to submitted pieces.

      Anyway, I’ve disabled cache now.. clearly it caused too many problems.

    7. Unity — on 2nd July, 2007 at 8:49 pm  

      According the Times article she fess’d up to the content of the Awaaz article

    8. leon — on 2nd July, 2007 at 10:57 pm  

      She’s well known for being outspoken, sometimes off message and quite opinionated. Not qualities you see in the average career politician these days…Giving her a peerage is probably the safest thing Cameron can do with someone as ‘individual’ as her.

      Shame really about her apparent anti gay stance, I quite liked her on 18DS some months ago, was a breath of fresh air seeing someone speak their mind so frankly.

      BBC profile: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6262664.stm

    9. leon — on 2nd July, 2007 at 11:29 pm  

      Heh heh as per Dizzy is going off on one (in that charming ‘Kevin the Teenager’ way of his) about her:


      His opinion isn’t that rare though, I’ve met at least one Tory who described her as a ‘right cow’…

    10. Nyrone — on 2nd July, 2007 at 11:43 pm  

      Saw her on Question time a while ago, I didn’t agree with a lot of what she had to say, but must say she seemed to be rather quick-witted and sharp with everything she said..

      Congratulations Sayeeda….welcome to real politik.

    11. Tahir — on 3rd July, 2007 at 12:52 am  

      Her appointment is good - the parties need to modernise and elect a few representatives on the national scale that reflect the population it serves.

      Whether she’s nice or not isn’t something we’re fussed with - there are lots of politicians who aren’t very nice, it seems that it’s a quality one needs to lose if you want to survive in Westminster Village.

      Except if you happen to have been mature in your career and nothing to prove like Tony Benn or someone.

    12. Tahir — on 3rd July, 2007 at 1:04 am  

      She also seems to have attended Leeds University which is a respectible place for politics graduates (some say all the political bods that don’t go to Oxbridge go to Leeds - is this still true these days?)Good for diversity from this point of view, too.

    13. fiz — on 3rd July, 2007 at 9:26 am  

      The Inde said she set up Operation Black Vote in Leeds? Thats news to me.

    14. Jagdeep — on 3rd July, 2007 at 2:00 pm  

      There are Asian politicians like that Sikh guy from Gloucester who get on with it and don’t make a big thing of their ethnicity. We need more of them instead of the latest tokens.

    15. Zak — on 3rd July, 2007 at 5:31 pm  

      Yikes Shahid Malik MP a Minister..definitely NOT a cabinet of talents!

    16. Rumbold — on 3rd July, 2007 at 9:14 pm  


      “I’m pretty sure that working peers are still disqualified from standing for election to the Commons, unless they give up their peerage.”

      I am almost certain that you are correct; I was just making the point that Cameron would prefer Sayeeda as an MP rather than a Baroness, and probably does not care that she would have to resign from the upper House.

    17. JonBoy — on 16th July, 2007 at 2:49 pm  

      She is opportunist, as the leaflet campaign shows, and read her column in the Sunday Mirror: at the same time she advocates a restoration of civil liberties and a crackdown on potential terror suspects. She is pushing everyone’s buttons. Read more : http://jonsymcox.com/

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