Election 2010: Bethnal Green and Bow MP candidates
LIBERAL Democrat candidate Ajmal Masroor is a well-known British imam, politician and television presenter. The father-of-two grew up around Shadwell and was the founder of Communities in Action Enterprises, a community development and interest group base
LIBERAL Democrat candidate Ajmal Masroor is a well-known British imam, politician and television presenter. The father-of-two grew up around Shadwell and was the founder of Communities in Action Enterprises, a community development and interest group based in the borough. He also works as a youth worker in Tower Hamlets, having trained as a facilitator and mediator. He provides consultancy and support to media and various government agencies on Muslim issues and is a broadcaster and regular contributor on national radio and TV programmes. Housing is at the top of his agenda as he promises more family homes and affordable housing.
LABOUR'S Rushanara Ali could become the party's first Bangladeshi female MP if she wins the hot seat in Westminster. She grew up in Tower Hamlets, having moved to the UK from Bangladesh when she was seven-years-old. She is Associate Director of the Young Foundation in Bethnal Green and also helped set up Tower Hamlets Summer University for the borough's teenagers. She is a former Governor of Tower Hamlets College where she studied. She claims to be passionate about fighting poverty, particularly in Tower Hamlets and is a Commissioner for the London Child Poverty Commission.
CONSERVATIVE candidate Zakir Khan claims he wants to make history, not only in Tower Hamlets but in the country, by being the first Bangladeshi Tory MP. He will be following in the footsteps of Mancherjee Merwanjee Bhownaggree who was the first Conservative Asian MP when he was elected in 1896. Having being brought up in Whitechapel and now living in Newham, Mr Khan has worked as a team leader and managing career advisors for Tower Hamlets College and as a manager for Kingsley Hall. He joined the Canary Wharf Group 10 years ago and six years later became Head of Community Affairs.
RESPECT leader Abjol Miah is fighting to keep his party in Westminster as George Galloway switches to Poplar and Limehouse. The father-of-four claims to offer "peace, justice and equality" while his opponents offer "privatization and war". And he is not someone to mess with as when he was 23, he represented Britain at the 1994 World Stick Fighting Championship in the Philippines. He is a silver UK medallist in the sport, as well as a black belt in Taekwondo. As well as being a councilor since 2006 when he became leader of his party, Mr Miah has worked with teenagers as a drug prevention education officer and at the borough's Drug Action Team.
INDEPENDENT candidate Hasib Hikmat quit his job as head of science at Bow Boys' School to run for parliament. He has set up the United Voice party. Mr Hikmat, 35, who lives in Bethnal Green with his wife and three children, wants 'zero tolerance' policing to combat knife and drugs crime and antisocial behaviour. He is concerned about the influences young people are exposed to, such as pornography and drug dealing being glamorized in some computer games. He would also like to see a debate about reintroduction of the death penalty for serial killers.
GREEN candidate and anti-war campaigner, Farid Bakht, is the International Coordinator on the party's National Executive Committee. He was born in Hackney, to a mother from the Basque country in Spain, and a father from Sylhet in Bangladesh. And Mr Bakht, who married with a nine-year old daughter, has been running small businesses around Whitechapel and Brick Lane for the past 12 years. He says he wants to protect young people against any cuts to education, abolish student tuition fees and help train them. He also wants to bring unity to the borough.