Zarah Sultana (born 31 October 1993) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Coventry South since the 2019 general election.
Early life and education
Sultana was born on 31 October 1993 in the West Midlands and raised in Lozells, Birmingham. She is a Muslim. Her grandfather moved to the West Midlands in the 1960s from Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. She attended Holte School, a non-selective community school. Sultana then studied at King Edward VI Handsworth School, a grammar school, for sixth form. She joined the Labour Party in 2011, following the coalition government's decision to increase tuition fees to £9,000. While at university, Sultana was elected onto the National Executive Council of both Young Labour and the National Union of Students.
On 31 October 2019, Sultana was selected as the Labour candidate for Coventry South. The constituency had been represented by Labour MP Jim Cunningham since 1997, who had announced that he would stand down at the 2019 general election. Her campaign was backed by Unite the Union, Momentum, the Fire Brigades Union, the Communication Workers Union and Bakers, Food and Allied Workers' Union. She is ideologically on the left-wing of the party. She had previously ran as a Labour candidate for the West Midlands constituency in the 2019 European parliamentary election. Sultana was elected as MP for Coventry South in the 2019 general election, with a majority of 401.
During the campaign, The Jewish Chronicle reported that in 2015, while she was a student, Sultana made social media posts from a subsequently deleted account which implied that she would celebrate the deaths of former Labour prime minister Tony Blair, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former US president George W. Bush and she supported "violent resistance" by Palestinians. Sultana apologised for the posts and stated that she no longer held those views and "wrote them out of frustration rather than any malice". The Labour Party re-interviewed her as a consequence of the posts, and she remained the candidate. Subsequent to her election, a further social media post made by Sultana in 2015 was reported in which she stated that students supporting Zionism were "advocating a racist ideology...championing] a state created through ethnic cleansing ...apartheid and war crimes."
In her maiden speech, she decried what she called "40 years of Thatcherism", criticised the government for the effects of austerity, and voiced her support for a Green New Deal to combat climate change. She joined the Socialist Campaign Group shortly after being elected and in the 2020 Labour Party leadership election, nominated Rebecca Long-Bailey for leader and Richard Burgon for deputy leader.
In January 2020, Sultana was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Dan Carden, the Shadow Secretary of State for International Development.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia