Rushanara Ali - Labour Candidate for Bethnal Green and Stepney

Rushanara Ali has been the Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow since 2010. She was first elected in May 2010 with a majority of 11,574, having defeated George Galloway’s Respect Party. Bethnal Green and Bow was one of four Labour gains in 2010. Rushanara was re-elected in 2015 doubling her majority to 24,317 and earning 61% of the share of the vote, and then subsequently re-elected in 2017 and 2019. She is currently a member of the Treasury Select Committee and the UK Trade Envoy to Bangladesh. Until her resignation from Labour’s front bench in September 2014 over her decision to abstain on the vote on airstrikes in Iraq, Rushanara served as Shadow Minister for Education and Young People, and between October 2010 and October 2013, as Shadow Minister for International Development. Rushanara was Associate Director of the Young Foundation. She has also worked at the Home Office, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Institute for Public Policy Research. Rushanara has also co-founded the charities One Million Mentors and Uprising.

Rushanara grew up in her constituency attending Mulberry school and Tower Hamlets College. She was the first in her family to go to university and studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University.

UpRising & One Million Mentors

Prior to her election in May 2010, she was Associate Director of the Young Foundation, where she co-founded UpRising, a national leadership development and employability charity which has helped thousands of young people develop their campaigning and leadership skills. Rushanara recently co-founded One Million Mentors, a national online platform to recruit, train and deploy one million mentors to organisations working with young people.

Social Innovation Exchange

Rushanara also co-founded the Social Innovation Exchange social which works to connect innovators and social entrepreneurs around the world to collaborate to tackle major social problems.

Assisting Lord Young of Dartington

Rushanara also worked at the Communities Directorate of the Home Office, leading a programme of work to support local areas following the 2001 riots in Bradford, Burnley and Oldham; at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office where she helped establish what became the Forced Marriage Unit; as a Research Fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research (1999-2002) working on anti-discrimination issues.

Advisory Positions

Rushanara has previously served as a Commissioner on the London Child Poverty Commission; as a board member of Tower Hamlets College; as a Trustee of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation; as a member of the Tate Britain Council and as a member of the Home Office Working Group on Preventing Extremism established after the 7/7 London bombings.

Trade Envoy

In April 2016 Rushanara was appointed as the Prime Minster's Trade Envoy to Bangladesh. This cross-party programme established in 2012 aims to build business and bilateral trade relationships and help drive economic growth in developing countries. Rushanara made her first visit as Trade Envoy to Bangladesh in December 2016.