Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Birmingham Bin Workers Support Group Launched on Tuesday 3rd October 2017

My message of support to Birmingham's bin workers:

"I am appalled that Birmingham City Council proposes to cut the pay of experienced grade 3 Bin workers by 20%, a pay cut of £4,000 - £5,000. It is a particular irony that this is happening at a time when even the Tories are making some concessions on public sector pay - for example making moves to remove the 1% pay rise limit. 

On a personal note I was delighted when a sensible deal was struck with Unite on August 15th - which happens to be my birthday! It is shocking that the Council, instead of adhering to the agreement, arrogantly chose to default on it, unnecessarily prolonging the dispute. And a Labour council at that. Betraying not just the bin workers, but the residents of Birmingham.

As a health professional I am also concerned about the dangerous situation for public health. Both in terms of sanitation issues with rubbish piling up on our streets, as well as the mental stress the unpleasant environment is causing to individuals and families.

However this struggle highlights the importance of solidarity and trade union collective bargaining rights. The battle now is not just about removing the rubbish from our streets, but removing the rubbish attitude in our Council leadership, which instead of resisting cruel Tory cuts, has acquiesced to managing them. I therefore call on people from all Birmingham communities to support the Bin workers in their battle to defend their living standards. A win for them is a win for all of us."

Sunday, 24 September 2017

The very least the UK owes the Rohingya is protection

Blame for the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya in Myanmar is very easily traceable to British Colonial times.

Condemnation of the brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing being carried out against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar is growing around the world, with the Dalai Lama, the Pope, Nobel Laureates and world leaders from many countries calling for an end to hostilities.

There is no easy way to end the offering there, but it is imperative that the world speaks out as one against such atrocities, yet the UK government's voice has barely been heard at all. Of all the countries that should be playing a role in protecting the vulnerable Muslim minority people in Myanmar, the UK should be leading efforts, as blame for the conflict in those lands is very easily traceable back to British Colonial times.

Even without knowing the dark secrets of British involvement, people are horrified about what is happening in Myanmar, with hundreds of thousands of people forced from their homes by violent vigilantes, either led by or with help from the army and stories of rapes and murder commonplace, alongside the dramatic footage of burning villages. The hatred which has been stirred up by nationalists is all too obvious in the TV reports and the Islamophobia that has been created by (among others) Ashin Wirathu, a monk who calls himself the "Buddhist Bin Laden", is truly frightening.

If the UK and other western countries do not tackle this and condemn the attacks on a Muslim minority people, this inaction will again be seized upon as evidence of the West's hatred of Islam by extremists with another agenda. They will do nothing to help the Rohingya but will use their name for propaganda and recruiting more fighters for their cause, just as they have with previous examples of Muslims being persecuted.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

"I am proud of all the people I have met throughout this campaign."

Whilst I am naturally disappointed with the result, I respect the choiceBradford West has made. Nationally, Jeremy Corbyn has achieved a significant victory with people voting in droves for the Labour leader. I welcome that. This country needs a change. It is heartbreaking that under a Tory government 30,000 children in Bradford live below the poverty line and hard working families are forced to go through the indignity of relying on food-banks for basic meals. All this in the name of austerity - when in fact the richest in this country have grown richer, and the poorest have gotten poorer.

There is a beautiful community spirit in Bradford which is insufficiently acknowledged and supported. I am proud that through our campaign we galvanised Bradford West - people stood up, challenged the status quo and fought for positive change. We asked hard questions and I truly believe the people of Bradford West are better for it. We have raised the levels of accountability and transparency, and demanded positive change. This will continue.

MP Naz Shah has a remarkable opportunity now to listen to her constituency and serve them all, whether they supported her or not.

I am proud of all the people I have met throughout this campaign - you greeted me with a smile, showered me with your love and showed me your unwavering support.

I would like to thank each and everything one of you, and every single member of my team and every volunteer who helped during my campaign. You have all been amazing!

Salma Yaqoob

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

"I am staying. I am fighting for the people of Bradford West."

I have noted the distasteful accusations being made on social media about me and honour killings, and slurs related to anti-semitism. This is in addition to threats by Naz Shah's supporters directed at my family, my supporters and me since the start of my positive campaign. A supporter who had my poster in their window has had their window smashed. Tyres have been slashed on a car which carried my poster. Banners and posts are removed during the night, and supporters who have them up are being intimidated. These incidents are in the process of being reported to the relevant authorities.
Whilst I should have expected the spreading of false rumours from some of Naz Shah’s supporters, I would not expect support for this by people in public positions.
I have consciously chosen to remain silent, in the hope that we could focus on issues that matter, which is the people of Bradford West. I have maintained my stance – the people of Bradford West have been neglected, their rights forgotten, their hopes shattered. The time for positive change is now.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

"We stand united, undeterred by the terror and violence"

As we were returning to some sense of normality following the brutal Manchester attack, we the people of Britain have been hit by the atrocities at London Bridge and the Borough Market. I am outraged, appalled and disgusted. During the blessed month of Ramadan, a bunch of cowards have again inflicted horror on our lives. This is not Islam. The Quran equates the taking of just one life with the killing of all of humanity. The sanctity of life is underlined in the Quran. We must guard all life, not just our own.
These coward terrorists respect neither life nor faith. They are indiscriminate in their killing. They care for no-one, not you or me.

They will never win. What will triumph is the spirit of the Mancunians and Londoners. Following the London attacks, we again witnessed the strength of solidarity between people of all faiths and none. A Muslim taxi driver rushed to the scene to take people home whilst he cried with his passengers. Muslim doctors treated the injured and Muslim police officers helped at the scene. Following the attacks, we witnessed many people remind everyone on social media about the reality of this situation - terrorists have no religion. At the time of the attacks, Muslims were breaking their fast and getting ready for their night prayers.

Our shared humanity must not be forgotten. We are one.
We stand united, undeterred by the terror and violence. We must not let such actions bring us to a standstill or turn on one another. That is what the terrorists want and we must never let them achieve this.
My prayers and thoughts are with all the victims and their loved ones.
Salma Yaqoob

Solidarity and respect.

"I will be at City Park, Bradford City Centre today (Sunday) at 6pm to hold a vigil in memory of the lives lost last night in London.
Come and join me to show solidarity and respect for the victims of the attacks in London."

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Salma responds: "Focus on the people of Bradford West."

My response to the letter handed to me by Naz Shah.

John Stolliday, Director of Governance and Legal Unit
By email

Dear John

Thank you for your letter dated 22nd May 2017. I am sorry that you feel concerned by my leaflet.

On your concern with the leaflet’s claim “A vote for Salma is a vote for Corbyn,” I stand by this political point - a vote for me does not undermine or weaken support for Jeremy Corbyn. For almost two decades, I have consistently campaigned on policy issues, which also reflect the principles of the Labour leader. On these issues and principles, a vote for me would mean that the people of Bradford West are given the chance to right the wrongs under Naz Shah, who has neglected constituents in favour of her own political ambitions.

On your other concern regarding my photo with Jeremy Corbyn, this is not in any way implying an endorsement by him. Rather, it accurately reflects how we have campaigned alongside each other for many years, including anti-war rallies over 15 years, austerity and student fees protests, and in campaigns to protect our precious public services.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Join the #TeamSalma

If you would like to join #TeamSalma and help her get elected then please get in contact today. Call us or just come and see us at our HQ at 13 Eldon Place, Bradford. Phone 07895 85 0002

Salma's plans for accountability board

"In the first 100 days we will set up a board across the 6 wards to bring accountability to the leadership and find solutions to the failures of Bradford."

Salma Yaqoob

Muhammad Hijazi pledges support to Salma Yaqoob in Bradford West

AN independent candidate who had been due to contest the Bradford West seat in next month’s General Election has announced he is stepping down.
Muhammad Hijazi has pledged his support to fellow independent candidate Salma Yaqoob, following in the footsteps of former Lord Mayor of Bradford and current Keighley councillor Khadim Hussain, who took the same step earlier this month.
Mr Hijazi said: “After many meetings with my team, supporters, and community leaders I have come to a decision that I will no longer stand in this election.
“The reason is because I would like to support Salma Yaqoob as we both have similar aims and goals for Bradford West.
“I can believe and say that Salma Yaqoob has a strong voice and will change Bradford West for the best. I will continue my campaign, not for myself but for Salma Yaqoob, and I would like all my supporters to vote Salma. I would like to thank all my supporters who worked day and night for my campaign.”

Friday, 26 May 2017

Time to focus on the real issues

Local Labour Party activists sadly once more trying to bring campaign down to unhelpful Punch and Judy politics. Salma is focussed on her practical manifesto to reverse years of neglect and raise aspirations for Bradford West - prioritising education, jobs and community cohesion. Salma is proud of her principled track record and everything in her leaflet is accurate and sourced. She has been campaigning alongside Jeremy Corbyn on a range of national and international issues. The picture is from the time Salma was campaigning for Jeremy as Leader. It is a matter of record that in contrast, Naz Shah was going on national media attacking Jeremy Corbyn - the source of which is also given in the leaflet. No false claims relating to endorsements are made. 

Instead of spreading false allegations about other candidates and trying to intimidate using legal threats, perhaps she should focus on her own campaign and reach out to constituents on the issues that really matter.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Salma Yaqoob: 'Hate will not prevail, we stand together.'

'As we woke up today, there was still disbelief about the attack in Manchester. The shock, sadness and disgust at what happened will take time to come to terms with. For the families who have lost loved ones, this loss will always be there. This is a sad time for us all. The horrific act at the Manchester Arena was an attack on us all. It sought to divide us. But, the hate will not prevail; what will endure is the spirit of the Mancunians who opened up their homes and hearts, and the taxi drivers who refused to charge their passengers and drove them home. These selfless acts are a representation of our shared humanity. This is what unites us. We stand together, grieving at the loss of innocent lives and steadfast in the face of adversity, absolutely firm in defeating the evil.'
Salma Yaqoob

Friday, 19 May 2017

Salma: "This is not a political game, it’s peoples’ lives."

The shenanigans at Wednesday’s event demonstrate how we need a sea of change that starts with hearts, minds and integrity.

Organised by the Muslim Women’s Council (MWC) in Bradford, this event was supposed to encourage aspiration, to shake off the shackles that prevent local residents from fulfilling their dreams and venture forth in the face of adversity. It was supposed to inspire local residents to become more engaged in civic participation and politics, to rouse their fellow citizens irrespective of gender, colour or creed, to work together for a more harmonious and prosperous society. The Board of MWC felt that inviting to the stage two women hailing from Bradford West to share their interesting journeys into politics, and engage in a discussion about their choices would be a stimulating and uplifting experience.

Instead, we witnessed a dramatic Bollywood scene, in which Naz Shah disrespectfully stormed out of the event on the pretext of ‘equality’. This had nothing to do with equality, but all to do with politics. It is her constituents who are vulnerable and need defending, not Conservative candidate George Grant, who actually stayed at the event and took to the stage when she left – so much for her claim the event was prejudiced against Christians and white males. It was a pre-planned exit designed to score political points at the expense of a hard working and respected local women's organisation, as well as constituents who had shown a genuine interest in hearing from both of us.