MP Rushanara Ali quits as Shadow Minister

Tuesday 30th September 2014 11:01 EDT
Rushanara Ali MP

Rushanara Ali, the British Bangladeshi Labour Party MP for Bethnal Green and Bow has quit as a Shadow Minister because she was unwilling to vote for British air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq.

Ms Ali said she, like many other Muslims, were against the "barbaric" acts committed by IS - also known as ISIS and ISIL - but was concerned that military action would make matters worse for the people of Iraq.

Ms Ali, was appointed a frontbench spokeswoman on education last year, having previously served as shadow minister for international development.

In a letter to Labour leader Ed Miliband ahead of Friday's vote on Iraq, Ms Ali said: "I understand the case that has been made and will not be voting against the motion. But I am unable in conscience to support the motion and I will make a deliberate abstention."

In response, Mr Miliband has reportedly praised Ms Ali as "someone with great ability and talent" and said he regretted her departure from his frontbench team, but added: "I respect your decision and accept your resignation."

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