Shabana Mahmood MP was born (17 September 1980) and brought up in Small Heath, Birmingham. Between 1981 and 1986 she lived with her family in Taif, Saudi Arabia, as her father relocated there to work as a civil engineer. Her family roots are from Mirpur, Azad Kashmir. When the family returned home to Birmingham, she was educated locally within Birmingham Ladywood constituency, at Small Heath School. She went on to study at the University of Oxford (Lincoln College) and graduated with a BA (Hons) degree in Law. During her time at Oxford, she was elected JCR President and she was awarded the Ashurst Morris Crisp Prize for Best Performance in the Lawyer’s Ethics finals examination by the University.
Whilst at University, she was also involved in various programmes designed to promote and increase applications to Oxbridge by students from minority and disadvantaged backgrounds. Throughout her career, she has continued to mentor students from disadvantaged and ethnic and religious minority backgrounds with applications for university and jobs.
After University, Shabana completed the Bar Vocational Course at the Inns Of Court School of Law, having been awarded a scholarship by Gray’s Inn. She completed her pupillage at 12 King’s Bench Walk chambers in London, after which she practised as an Employed Barrister, specialising in professional indemnity litigation. Shabana is an experienced litigator and has acted in several high value and complex cases.
Shabana was elected Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood constituency on 6 May 2010, with a majority of 10,105. She made history in becoming one of the first Muslim women, and one of the first Asian women, to be elected to Parliament.
In 2010, Shabana was promoted to the Shadow Home Office Team as a Junior Minister and in 2011 became Shadow Minister for Higher Education. From January 2013 she was additionally responsibility for science and research. In October 2013 she was promoted to the shadow Treasury Team as the Shadow Exchequer Secretary with responsibility for tax and growth policy.
“I am incredibly honoured and privileged to have been elected the Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood constituency.
I grew up in a Labour family, and have been active in Labour politics from a young age. I believe passionately in social justice, fairness and equality - where you live and how wealthy your parents are should not dictate the kind of life you will have. Everyone deserves the same opportunity to succeed in life and to fulfil their potential.
My top priority will be campaigning for better job opportunities for the people of Birmingham Ladywood Constituency. Even now, this area has the worst unemployment rate in the country. That is something I want to see change.”