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October 28, 2010
Miliband advised by Khan to run inclusive campaign
Labour’s new Shadow Justice Secretary has revealed that he used his close friendship with Ed Miliband to advise on running an inclusive campaign that led him to be elected as Labour’s youngest leader.
Rt Hon Sadiq Khan, who ran the successful election campaign, said that he and Miliband became “great friends and colleagues” after both entered Parliament in 2005. “When Gordon Brown decided to step down I spoke with Ed about him standing for the Labour Leadership” he revealed in an exclusive interview with The Muslim News published tomorrow.
“My re-election campaign (in Tooting) in the general election this year had been, apart from successful, very positive and inclusive. It was important to have an inclusive campaign for the leadership making the most of Ed’s energy, experience and enthusiasm,” Khan said. “I was thrilled that we won and I enjoyed every minute of it.”
His promotion to shadow Kenneth Clarke came as Miliband appointed two Muslim women among a new generation of MPs to prominent positions in his Shadow Front Bench team, with Shabana Mahmood as a Home Office Minister and Rushnara Ali as International Development Minister.
The appointments, which come after Khan became the first Muslim to attend cabinet last year and Baroness Sayeeda Warsi becoming the only ethnic minority member of Prime Minister, David Cameron’s cabinet, give lie to detractors who claim that Muslims cannot become fully engaged in mainstream politics and achieve prominent positions.
“Those who believe that any job is out of reach because of their faith, ethnicity, gender or background have already taken a step backwards to getting that job,” Khan said. Instead, he said that he would encourage such people to believe that “goals are achievable with a little positivity and a lot of hard work and dedication. It wasn’t all that long ago that people thought that we would never have a female Prime Minister, a black President of the United States of America, or a British Minister attending the Cabinet of Muslim faith!”
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