Zarah Sultana

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Zarah Sultana

Zarah Sultana (born 31 October 1993)is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Coventry South since the 2019 general election. A supporter of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, she is on the left wing of the Labour Party.

Education/student activism

Zarah Sultana studied International Relations and Economics at the University of Birmingham.

She joined the Labour Party in 2011, whilst doing her A-levels, following the coalition government's decision to treble university tuition fees to £9,000. Whilst at university, Sultana was elected to the National Executive Council of both Young Labour and the National Union of Students.

Parliament

In October 2019, Zarah Sultana was selected as the Labour candidate for Coventry South, after the incumbent Labour MP Jim Cunningham announced that he would stand down.Her campaign was backed by Unite the Union, Momentum UK, the Fire Brigades Union, the Communication Workers Union and the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers' Union. Sultana was elected at the 2019 general election, with a majority of 401 votes.

In January 2020, Sultana was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Dan Carden, the Shadow Secretary of State for International Development.She was removed from this role by Keir Starmer when he became leader in April 2020.

In April 2021, Sultana was profiled by Marie Le Conte for Vogue magazine, along with her Labour colleagues Charlotte Nichols, Taiwo Owatemi, and Sarah Owen. She spoke about the abuse she receives as a Muslim and as a woman of colour, including death threats and being told to 'go back to her own country'. Sultana was described as "one of the most left-wing new Labour MPs" who had "made a name for herself as an outspoken critic of the Government".

Socialist Campaign Group

In 2021 Zarah Sultana was member of the Socialist Campaign Group in the House of Parliament.

Stop the War Statement on Crisis in the Ukraine

Stop the War Statement on Crisis in the Ukraine was released February 18 2022.

Stop the War opposes any war over Ukraine, and believes the crisis should be settled on a basis which recognises the right of the Ukrainian people to self-determination and addresses Russia’s security concerns.

Our focus is on the policies of the British government which have poured oil on the fire throughout this episode. In taking this position we do not endorse the nature or conduct of either the Russian or Ukrainian regimes.

The British government has talked up the threat of war continually, to the point where the Ukraine government has asked it to stop.

Unlike the French and German governments, it has advanced no proposals for a diplomatic solution to the crisis, and has contributed only sabre-rattling.

Indeed, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has even accused those seeking a peaceful settlement of preparing “another Munich.”

Instead, the British government has sent arms to Ukraine and deployed further troops to Eastern Europe, moves which serve no purpose other than inflaming tensions and indicating disdain for Russian concerns.

It has also declared that Ukraine has a “sovereign right” to join NATO, when no such right exists to join it or any other military alliance.

Britain needs to change its policy, and start working for peace, not confrontation.

Stop the War believes that Russia and Ukraine should reach a diplomatic settlement of the tensions between them, on the basis of the Minsk-2 agreement already signed by both states.

It believes NATO should call a halt to its eastward expansion and commit to a new security deal for Europe which meets the needs of all states and peoples.

We refute the idea that NATO is a defensive alliance, and believe its record in Afghanistan, Yugoslavia and Libya over the last generation, not to mention the US-British attack on Iraq, clearly proves otherwise.

We support all efforts to reach new arms control agreements in Europe and to move towards nuclear disarmament across the continent.

We urge the entire anti-war movement to unite on the basis of challenging the British government’s aggressive posturing and direct its campaigning to that end above all.

The statement had been originally MPs signed by Diane Abbott, John McDonnell, Richard Burgon, Ian Lavery, Beth Winter, Zarah Sultana, Bell Ribeiro-Addy, Apsana Begum, Mick Whitley, Tahir Ali and Ian Mearns. All withdrew their signatues after Labour Party pressure.[1]

Coventry Labour Left

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Zarah Sultana, Apsana Begum.

Justice for Palestine

Justice for Palestine was a 15th May, 2021 letter from British Members of Parliament.

In the light of the Israeli Government’s military offensive on Gaza and its attacks on Palestinians in the Occupied Territories I have signed the following statement calling for Justice for Palestine issued by the Socialist Campaign Group...

As the former colonial power that issued the Balfour Declaration, and then was responsible for the Mandate leading up to the Nakba of 1948, Britain has a special responsibility to do all it can to ensure a just peace.

We, therefore, call on the UK government to:

  • Demand an end to the siege of Gaza and the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory.
  • Impose sanctions on Israel for its repeated violations of international law, place an embargo on arms sales and end trade with illegal settlements.
  • Demonstrate full support for the International Criminal Court’s opening of an investigation into alleged war crimes in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.
  • Recognise the state of Palestine.

Signatories included Zarah Sultana MP.

The World Transformed

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Labour MP Zarah Sultana has said that society and the world needs “transformative solutions”. Her comments come ahead of an alternative conference to the Labour Party’s main one.

Labour group Momentum UK and others launched The World Transformed (TWT) in 2016. It took place alongside the Labour Party conference in Liverpool. More than 5,000 people attended over 150 workshops, talks, gigs, and exhibitions. It was the largest fringe event at the 2016 conference.

The festival is once again taking place alongside the Labour Conference. It’s happening in Brighton from 25-28 September. TWT said in a press release that it: is set to welcome participants to over 100 sessions which will address a suite of critical topics – from the future of the Labour Party to the response to the climate crisis.

In short, TWT is trying to build on the movement that was formed under Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour leadership. It said in a press release that it’s ‘returning to revive the UK left’.[2]

MEETING ON MYANMAR

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Communist Party of Britain July 4 2021·

Liberation MEETING ON MYANMAR -Find out more about the campaign of support and solidarity for the people of Myanmar/Burma, and how you can get involved.

SPEAKERS INCLUDE

Cuba Solidarity at Labour Party Conference

Cuba Solidarity Campaign Monday, 4 October 2021.

After eighteen months and twenty online public meetings CSC was delighted to participate in and host our first face-to-face public meetings, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, in September.

At the Labour Party Conference in Brighton we were invited to speak at ‘The World Transformed’, the Young Labour rally, as well as organising a fringe meeting as part of the main conference fringe programme.

CSC’s conference exhibition stall was extremely busy all week. Several MPs had their photographs taken with our ‘End the US blockade, 60 years too long’ poster, and it was great to see many existing CSC members visit to say hello and give their support, as well as Labour Party delegates who came to ask questions, buy gifts and join. More than 20 new members were recruited during the week.

On Saturday 25 September, CSC’s Natasha Hickman spoke at two events. Joining speakers from Colombia, Brazil, and Bolivia at The World Transformed Festival running concurrently with the Labour Party Conference, she contrasted the lack of mainstream media coverage for the mass demonstrations against imperialism and right-wing governments that had been taking place in these countries for many months compared to the way that the same media had responded to localised and much smaller events in Cuba. The meeting, ‘Latin America Rising: Imperialism, Resistance and Solidarity,’ hosted by Alborada attracted more than 100 people. Later the same evening, Natasha told a crowd of 200 at the Young Labour Rally that there was nothing controversial about standing up against the US blockade whose aim was to starve the Cuban people into submission. Other speakers at the rally included MPs Jeremy Corbyn, Richard Burgon and Zarah Sultana.

On Monday 27 September a further 150 people listened to Cuban Ambassador Barbara Montalvo Alvarez speak at her first fringe meeting since arriving in the UK in March 2020. CSC’s meeting ‘Solidarity and resistance: Cuba’s fight against COVID and the US blockade’, was sponsored by Unite the Union, and chaired by the union’s Assistant General Secretary Steve Turner.

Grahame Morris MP told the audience about the measures taken both in and out of parliament by MPs to pressure the Biden administration to reverse sanctions imposed by Trump including allowing Cuban Americans to send family remittances to the island.

Labour NEC youth representative and junior doctor Lara McNeill shared her first-hand experience of training as a doctor in Havana and told the audience what it was like to work in Cuba’s world class healthcare system. She compared the cost of training to become a doctor in the UK and the debts students would rack up here with Cuba where medical training is free and as a result doctors came from much more diverse backgrounds than in Britain.

CSC Director Rob Miller closed the meeting with a call for solidarity given the current difficulties the island faced. “Cuba has given so much to the world, it is time for us to give something back” he said.

Labour MPs Mick Whitley, Navendu Mishra, Paula Barker, Rachel Hopkins, Kim Johnson and Sinn Fein’s Chris Hazzard and Mickey Brady attended the meeting and expressed their ongoing support.[3]

Cuba Covid letter

April 15 2020, fifty one British members of parliament have written to Dominic Raab, the UK Foreign Secretary and acting Prime Minister to call for the US blockade of Cuba to be temporarily suspended during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Grahame Morris MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cuba, coordinated the letter which asks the British government to make a public statement and to raise the issue directly with its counterparts in the United States’ government.

The letter from the British parliamentarians cites examples from around the world where governments and international organisations have demanded that humanitarian aid be allowed in to Cuba to help the country fight COVID-19. It quotes Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Arancha Gonzalez, Spanish Foreign Minister, and Josep Borrell, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, who have all publicly called for sanctions to be suspended to Cuba and other sanctioned countries to allow for the delivery of essential supplies and medicine to stop the spread of the virus.

Yours sincerely,

Grahame Morris MP, Chair, APPG Cuba.

Dan Carden MP, Vice Chair, Kate Osborne MP, Vice Chair, Kim Johnson MP, Vice Chair, Paula Barker MP, Vice Chair, Alison Thewliss MP Allan Dorans MP, Amy Callaghan MP, Andy McDonald MP, Apsana Begum MP, Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP, Beth Winter MP, Carol Monaghan MP, Chris Law MP, Chris Stephens MP, Claudia Webbe MP, Clive Lewis MP, Dave Doogan MP, Diane Abbott MP, Geraint Davies MP, Ian Byrne MP, Ian Mearns MP, Ian Lavery MP, Imran Hussain MP, Joanna Cherry MP, John McDonnell MP, Jon Trickett MP, Kate Osamor MP, Kenny MacAskill MP, Kirsten Oswald MP, Kirsty Blackman MP, Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP, Margaret Ferrier MP, Marion Fellowes MP, Martyn Day MP, Mary Kelly Foy MP, Mick Whitley MP, Mike Amesbury MP, Mike Hill MP, Navendu Mishra MP, Olivia Blake MP, Owen Thompson MP, Rachel Hopkins MP, Richard Burgon MP, Ronnie Cowan MP, Sam Tarry MP, Sarah Champion MP, Stephen Bonnar MP, Stephen Flynn MP, Yasmin Qureshi MP, Zarah Sultana MP[4]

Defend Democracy in Bolivia

Defend Democracy in Bolivia was an October 2020 letter circulated by Friends of Bolivia.

MPs and Lords from the Labour Party, SNP and Sinn Fein, as well as nine trade union leaders and solidarity activists across the UK, sign a letter in support of Bolivian democracy ahead of this weekend's election.

Despite all of this, the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) is ahead in the polls ahead of the presidential election due to be held on October 18th, after numerous delays.

There are fears that these elections will not be free or fair and that right-wing, anti-democratic forces will once again seek to deny Bolivians their wish to build a progressive and democratic country.

We, the undersigned, therefore express our support for all those struggling for democracy, human rights, equality and social progress in Bolivia.

Signatories included Zarah Sultana MP, Labour Party​.

Corbynista

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"For a Socialist Future"

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Zarah Sultana MP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, John McDonnell MP, Nadia Whittome MP, Jo Grady Unite the Union.

"For a Socialist Future" 2

Young Labour National Committee elections.

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Speakers Owen Jones, Zarah Sultana, Apsana Begum, Lauren Townsend, Jess Barnard, Lamar Campbell, Shannon Jezzard, Nabeela Mowlana, Patricia Johnson.

Insult After Injury

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The People's Assembly: Laura Pidcock, Jac Berry, Anthony Johnson, Danielle Tiplady, Holly Turner, Sonia Adesara, Zarah Sultana MP.

Action for Jobs

The People's Assembly Action for Jobs September 15 2021.

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Steve Turner Unite the Union, Zarah Sultana MP, Nathan Allen Liberty Press.

Liberation BLM meeting

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October 14 2020 With Jeremy Corbyn, Jacqui McKenzie, Roger McKenzie, Dawn Butler MP, Zarah Sultana MP.

Communist Party connections

Parents4safereturn

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Post pandemic, a new deal for workers

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Post pandemic, a new deal for workers Sat, 24 Apr 2021 - 11:00 to 12:30.

The TUC Midlands and the Morning Star are jointly hosting a conference to explore how we can build a new deal for workers following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Morning Star/CP/YCL connection

"Young Lives: Better Without the Tories" Morning Star - Coventry and Warwickshire, November 6 2019.

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Tony Conway chair, Mohammed Asif Unite the Union, James McLelland Young Communist League of Britain, Zarah Sultana Labour Party, Lauren Townsend CWU.

Make Our Schools Safe

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Laura Pidcock, Dr Mary Bousted, Zarah Sultana, Tom Wittaker, Louise Regan, Prof Robert West.

Pro-Cuba

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Anti-capitalist

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Young Labour

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Jeremy Corbyn with Lara McNeill, Zarah Sultana, Nabeela Mowlana, Fraser Amos, Nazifa Zaman, Abdullah Mohamed, Hasan Patel, Katherine Harlow, Jessica Barnard, Aisha Malik-Smith, Connor Slomski.

A Green New Deal for People and Planet

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Rebecca Long-Bailey, Jeremy Corbyn, Zarah Sultana MP, Scarlett Westerbrook, Grace Blakeley, Lela Allen, Juliana Moraes.

MEND

November 2019 Labour’S newly selected general election candidate for Coventry South has apologised for a social media post where she said she would celebrate the death of ex-Labour prime minister Tony Blair.

It has emerged Zarah Sultana, aged 26, who was selected to replace veteran MP Jim Cunningham last week, made the controversial remark in 2015 in response to a post claiming nobody’s death should be celebrated.

She tweeted: “Try and stop me when the likes of Blair, Netanyahu and Bush die.”

Ms Sultana said sorry on Twitter after the Jewish Chronicle newspaper found the now deleted Twitter posts.

The newspaper also reported her support for “violent resistance” by Palestinians fighting the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

The former Birmingham University student, Unite the Union member and parliamentary officer for Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND) tweeted: “I posted these tweets five years ago when I was a student, from an account I then deleted.

“I wrote them out of frustration rather than malice, in response to the endless cycles of global suffering, violence and needless killing resulting from decisions by political leaders.

“In particular, the Iraq War and the killing of over 2000 Palestinians in 2014, mostly civilians, which was condemned by the United Nations.

“I do not support violence and I should not have articulated my anger in the manner I did, for which I apologise.

“Criticism of Israel is not, of course, antisemitic in and of itself."[5]

References

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