LONDON: Two Pakistani-British women were among the three women who became the first Muslim females to be elected to the British parliament following their success in the Thursdayâ€™s UK national polls.
Yasmin Qureshi, a 47-year-old practising barrister, held on to the Labour seat from Bolton south east constituency (north west England), by taking 18,782 votes against her Conservative party rival Andy Morgan, who polled 15,827 votes.
Qureshi was contesting the election in place of Dr Brian Iddon who has retired from politics.
The other successful woman was Oxford-educated Barrister Shabana Mahmood, a Labour candidate who won with 19,950 votes.
She defeated her nearest Liberal-Democrat rival Ayoub Khan who bagged 9,845 votes.
Another Muslim candidate Nusrat Ghani who fought the election on Conservative Party ticket secured 4,277 votes. Mahmood defended the seat that was previously held by former International Development Secretary Clare Short who stepped down from Birmingham Ladywood constituency.
The third successful Muslim woman to have secured her passage to the Westminster was Rushanara Ali of the Bangladeshi-descent, who won East London constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow with 21,784 votes and in the process wrested the seat from Respect Unity Coalition whose candidate Abjol Miah got 8,532 votes.
In second place was Ajmal Mansoor of Liberal-Democrat with 10,210 votes.
However, the other Labour aspirant Maryam Khan, a 27-year-old solicitor contesting from Bury North, went down fighting to her Conservative Party rival David Nuttal who polled 18,070 votes against Khanâ€™s 15,827.
Khan was chosen to defend the seat previously held by David Chaytor, who was barred by the Labour Party from standing again and is being prosecuted over his expenses as a former MP. Labour also suffered defeat in Dewsbury, north west England, where sitting MP Shahid Malik, a junior minister, lost to his Conservative rival Simon Reevell by a narrow margin of 1,526 votes.
Reevell polled 18,898 votes against 17,372 votes by Malik.
However, according to analysts, Malikâ€™s chances were dented by another Pakistan-origin candidate Khizer Iqbal who stood as independent and returned with crucial 3,813 votes in a seven-corner contest. In Luton South constituency, Pakistan-origin councillor Qurban Hussein of Liberal-Democrat failed to unseat his Labour rival Gavin Shuker who secured 14,725 votes. Hussein, in fact, finished third with 9,567 votes behind the second placed Nigel Huddleston of the Tory party. app.