Lobbying target: Sayeeda Warsi, shadow minister for community cohesion

Last week, Warsi was named Britain's most powerful Muslim woman by the Equality and Human Rights Commission

Ten-second biography

Warsi was former Conservative Party leader Michael Howard’s adviser on race issues, before becoming party vice-chair in 2005. She moved into the shadow cabinet and became a peer in 2007.

What’s her background?

Brought up in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire. At the age of 15 she was taken to Pakistan and introduced to her future husband, whom she married aged 19 (they split up two years ago). After studying law at the University of Leeds, Warsi went on to set up her own legal practice.

Where does she sit politically?

Warsi calls herself a libertarian and says her admiration for Tory principles is inspired by her father, who went from working in a mill to running a £2m-a-year bed manufacturing firm. She was accused of homophobia over her vocal opposition to Labour lowering the age of gay consent from 18 to 16.

Is she one to watch?

Possibly. David Cameron is said to like the fact she speaks her mind, but William Hague’s former press secretary Amanda Platell once claimed Warsi was ambitious merely ‘to become a celebrity’.


Click here to read more about Baroness Sayeeda Warsi from Insight Public Affairs

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