Independent Candidate for Altrincham & Sale West
I was born and brought up in Didsbury in Manchester, the eldest child of parents who immigrated to this country from Pakistan.
After school, we moved to Altrincham and I went on to read Modern History & English Literature at The University of Oxford, where I was elected to the post of Women’s Officer for my college.
After graduating, I studied law and trained to be a solicitor. I worked in the Manchester offices of two global law firms (Eversheds and DLA Piper UK), specialising in intellectual property and general commercial law, before joining The University of Manchester as an in-house lawyer, where I remained for nine years, serving a three year term on its Board of Governors. I am now a freelance lawyer.
I voted Remain and, whilst I am still of the view that there are a number of advantages in remaining a member of the EU, I believe we have to honour the result of the referendum and focus on getting the best deal possible.
Through working for many years in the higher education sector, I’ve seen first hand how prevalent mental ill health is amongst the younger generations, how debilitating it can be – not just for those suffering, but for their friends and family too - and how ill-equipped the primary care services are to support those in need.
This constituency is home to some brilliant schools, but, like the rest of the country, there remain great disparities in the quality of our state schools, making it a postcode lottery as to whether or not a child gets the education they deserve. Degrees do not have the same value they once had and the grade inflation that is rife throughout the sector is only making matters worse.
As a Briton of Pakistani origin, I feel privileged and proud to have two different cultures which I can identify with and celebrate with all my friends and family, whatever their background. However, despite this, wherever I look, I see deep divisions in this country which affect us all.
It is unarguable that we need to take dramatic measures in order to slow down climate change and prevent catastrophic disasters. All of us have to play a part in this and we need a complete change in attitude at an individual, local, national and global level to make a difference.