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Rushanara Ali triumphs in an ""historical moment' for Bethnal Green and Bow

PUBLISHED: 14:51 07 May 2010 | UPDATED: 15:59 05 October 2010

RUSHANARA Ali regained the Labour seat from Respect to become MP for Bethnal Green and Bow in what was called an historical moment for East End. Ms Ali won 21,784 votes to become the first Bangladeshi MP in Westminster. The Oxford graduate regained th

RUSHANARA Ali regained the Labour seat from Respect to become MP for Bethnal Green and Bow in what was called an "historical moment" for East End.

Ms Ali won 21,784 votes to become the first Bangladeshi MP in Westminster.

The Oxford graduate regained the Labour seat that was lost to George Galloway in the 2005 election.

And it marked the second triumph for Labour in Tower Hamlets after Jim Fitzpatrick won the seat for Poplar and Limehouse earlier today.

In a passionate speech delivered to a crowded count room, she said she was proud of Bangladesh where she was born and the "great country of Britain".

She added: "It is a victory that has not been won by me but many thousands who chose hope over fear and unity over division.

"You decided it was time to pay your last respects to Respect. You said goodbye to George Galloway, but let me say one thing that I would want to welcome back many of his former supporters."

Respect's Abjol Miah was hoping to keep hold of the Respect seat left empty after Mr Galloway decided to swap constituencies and fight for Poplar and Limehouse.

But he only managed to score third place with 8,532 votes with Lib Dem's Ajmal Masroor coming in second with 10,210 votes.

Today proved a disaster for Respect after losing their Bethnal Green and Bow seat and failing to gain Poplar and Limehouse despite pitching their star player.

But Mr Miah refuted claims it was the end of Respect in Tower Hamlets.

He said: "We just lost an election, people don't just disappear. We are strong fighters who will continue to fight for the needs of the community and hold the chosen MPs to account."

Mr Masroor congratulated Ms Ali, calling it an "historical moment" and admitted he had only found out a few days before that she was his cousin.

He said: "I am very relieved after two and a half years of campaigning in the area and I am very pleased the Liberal Democrats in this constituency have managed to more than double their share of their vote."

Tory Zak Khan managed to grab 7,071 votes.

Labour: Rushanara Ali 21,784 Green: Farid Bakht 856 Independent: Patrick Brooks 277 Independent: Haji Choudhury 100 United Voice: Hasib Hikmat 209

Conservative: Zakir Khan 7,071 Independent: Ahmed Malik 71 British National Party: Jeffrey Marshall 1,405 Liberal Democrat: Ajmal Masroor 10,210 Respect-Unity Coalition: Abjol Miah 8,532 Pirate Party UK: Alexander van Terheyden 213

Disallowed or spoilt votes: 662

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