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May 08, 2000
London Assembly needs Muslim representation, says The Muslim News
The Muslim News called on London's newly elected Mayor today to appoint Muslim members to his team following their exclusion from the Greater London Assembly.
"London cannot afford not to have Muslim representation in the new devolved authority," its editor Ahmed Versi said. "The British capital needs a strong Muslim voice as they represent the majority of the 25 per cent ethnic population in London," he urged.
"The Muslim community hope Ken Livingstone will chose a Muslim as his deputy and nominate at least two Muslims as his advisors," The Muslim News editor said. "Ken owes this to the Muslim community, who make up more than 40 per cent of the capital's ethnic minorities," he said.
Four Muslim candidates contested the GLA elections but in unwinnable seats. Labour placed Abdul Asad down in seventh place in its top-up list. The Lib-Dems did likewise with Meher Khan. Conservative candidate, Syed Kamall, stood in Labour-stronghold City & East constituency, coming second with 19,266 votes (more than 25,000 less than John Biggs). He also lost out in the top-up list, where he was placed third, as only one Conservative qualified. Syed Manzoor, an Independent, contested the Merton & Wandsworth constituency, but only managed to come sixth with 1,465 votes.
"All parties claim to be inclusive, but when it comes to Muslims, they are excluded," Versi said. "Is this due to prejudice or institutionalised Islamophobia?" he asked.
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