I am proud to have been elected as your representative and your Labour Member of Parliament for Bradford East in 2015 and then again in 2017 and 2019.
Bradford is the city that I have called home my entire life. It is the city that I was born in, it is the city I went to school in, and it is the city where I still live with my family. It has been and always will be a pleasure to represent the people who live here and the people and places I grew up with.
After finishing my GCSEs, I got my first job in Morrisons in Bradford, cleaning aisles and stacking shelves whilst continuing my education to become the first in my family to go to university, and instilling in me a strong work ethic and determination. It was also at this young age that I came to understand just how important education is in helping people to achieve their full potential and furthering their aspirations, and it is why improving education remains my number one priority in Parliament.
After leaving university I trained and worked in the legal profession as a Barrister defending the rights of the vulnerable and upholding justice. Here I learnt a strong sense of fairness and of justice, of the right thing to do, and fighting abuse and intolerance led to my involvement to become more keenly involved in politics and our local communities.
I was elected as a Labour Councillor in Bradford, using every opportunity that I could get my hands on to raise the issues that faced local people and fighting for a better deal on their behalf, before being appointed as the Deputy Leader of Bradford Council.
In this role I worked to shield our city from the cruel cuts and ideological austerity that were being imposed upon us by the Tory-Lib Dem Coalition Government, protecting community advice services that support the most vulnerable, putting more community police officers on our streets, supporting domestic violence services and establishing a youth program to stop young people falling into crime.
Then in 2015, I was elected as the Member of Parliament for Bradford East before being re-elected in 2017, and since the very beginning of my time in Parliament, I have continued to stand up against the Tories when they sought to inflict damage upon deprived parts of the country like Bradford.
Working hard for the people of Bradford, I have managed to secure an additional £23 million to be spent on school places in Bradford, brought a Northern Schools Strategy backed by a multi-million pound investment, opposed even more harmful austerity, guaranteed £4 million to regenerate the Bradford Odeon and turn it into a prime attraction, stood up against privatisation of our NHS, pioneered the use of non-invasive post-mortems in the city and argued for Bradford to lead the way in bringing innovative technologies that will benefit our economy.
I have always striven to be Bradford’s representative in Westminster, not Parliament’s representative in Bradford because not only is it the people of Bradford that send me to Parliament, but it is Bradford and its people whose best interests I have at heart. I will continue to deliver for Bradford so that together, we can build a better city for us all.