Baroness Warsi: Britain's 1st Female Muslim Cabinet Minister
Friday, May 14, 2010 10:54:17 PM
To be born as the daughter of an immigrant mill worker in a mill town in Yorkshire, to have the privilege of serving in Cabinet at such an important time in Britain’s history, I think it is terribly humbling.
Prime Minister David Cameron and Baroness Warsi within a mosque
Baroness Warsi of Dewsbury, Sayeeda Hussain Warsi became 'Britain's first female Muslim Cabinet Minister' this week. She is a minister without porfolio in the new Conservative and Liberal Democrats coalition government, headed by Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. She is among the four women in the male dominated cabinet.
In 2009, Lady Warsi was voted the first most powerful Muslim woman in Britain. She is the current chairman of the Conservative Party and was the vice-chairman of the Party (June 2005 – July 2007). The solicitor also became the youngest member of the House of Lords (now the Supreme Court) in 2007 at the age of 36.
The married mother was born in Yorkshire to a Pakistani immigrant, mill worker cum entrepreneur father. As a brave woman, she spoke with Muslim protesters that pelted her with eggs in Luton last year. What a price to pay for being a minister!
In 2007, she flew to Sudan as the British Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion and Social Action to negotiate the release of detainee Gillian Gibbons aka the teddy bear teacher. Gibbons was later released but was initially accused of blasphemy for allegedly allowing pupils to call a teddy bear Mohammed.
It can be recalled that Dominican born Patricia Janet Scotland, Baroness Scotland of Asthal is the first female Attorney General in the United Kingdom (2007 – 2010). In fact, the first woman and Black person 'in the 700-year history of the post' . In 1991, she became the first Black female Queen's Counsel (QC) while Linda Dobbs QC became the first Black high court judge in 2004.
Anna Mbachu: The Mayor of Waltham Forest
Mayor Anna Mbachu courtesy WFC
A former psychiatric nurse, Anna Mbachu became the Mayor of London Borough of Waltham Forest on 21 May 2009. She is of Nigerian origin. In 2009, she was among the Labour councillors that were deselected for the 2010 local election by the Labour Party and it was obvious that there was a crisis in the party.
Mbachu was deselected with Shameem Highfield, Tarsen Bhogal, Elizabeth Davies and Milton Martin. Nevertheless, Labour won the Grove Green Ward seats including the ‘Waltham Forest first citizen Cllr Anna Mbachu’ who won with 2271 votes.
Shameem Highfield also won a Labour seat at Cathall Ward with 1885 votes and Tunde Davies won a Labour Cann Hall seat with 2103 votes. Congratulations! In 1999, Lola Ayorinde became the first Black Mayor of London Borough of Wandsworth. She is also of Nigerian origin.