UK: First Yemeni British MP Abtisam Mohamed vows to fight for a ceasefire

The Sheffield Central MP is a former lawyer and councillor whose father and grandfather worked in Sheffield’s steel mills

MEE staff

Abtisam Mohamed with Paul Blomfield, whom she replaced as Labour MP for Sheffield Central (X)

Labour’s Abtisam Mohamed, who was elected in Sheffield Central, has become the UK’s first MP of Yemeni origin.

Mohamed, a former lawyer and councillor, won the constituency with 16,569 votes, which amounts to a majority of over 50 percent. Labour now represents all six seats in the city.

In her acceptance speech, the new MP vowed to use her platform to push for a ceasefire in Gaza, the return of all hostages and recognition of Palestinian statehood.

“Throughout this campaign I have spoken to many people, and many felt that their voice in relation to what is going on in the Middle East and in Gaza was not being heard,” Mohamed said.

“To those people, let me reassure you that I hear you loud and clear. I will use my voice to advocate for peace, coexistence in the region, for an immediate ceasefire, for the release of hostages on all sides, for the recognition of Palestine,” she added.

Mohamed arrived in the UK from Yemen as a child.

Her father and grandfather worked in Sheffield’s steel mills, a fact she alluded to throughout her campaign to argue for a “just” green transition in the once thriving industrial city.

“For those like my dad, a steelworker, in carbon-intensive industries, we need a just transition and upskilling to shift away from fossil fuels,” she said in a campaign statement.

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The Sheffield Central constituency has long been a Labour Party stronghold. Former MP Paul Blomfield, also Labour, had held the seat since 2010.

The city is twinned with the Palestinian city of Nablus, and in 2019, it became the first UK city to recognise the state of Palestine.

Despite Labour’s landslide victory on 5 July, the party appears to have haemorrhaged votes to pro-Palestinian candidates, several of whom picked up shock wins in last Thursday’s general election.

The independent candidate Shockat Adam beat former Labour shadow minister Jon Ashworth in Leicester South in the biggest upset of the night, while veteran Labour MP Khaled Mahmood lost to independent Ayoub Khan in Birmingham Perry Barr.

Elsewhere, Adnan Hussain won in Blackburn and Iqbal Hussain Mohamed took the Dewsbury and Batley seat.

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