Outspoken British Muslim anti-war activist, Salma Yaqoob, has announced her plans to see the Labour nomination as West Midlands Mayor, Birmingham Mail reported.
“Excited to announce that I’m running for West Midlands Metro Mayor, seeking selection from @WMLabour Party members to be their candidate. It’s time for a new politics #ForTheMany. It’s time for one of us. #Salma4Mayor,” she wrote on Twitter.
Yaqoob, former leader of the Respect Party and an ex Birmingham city councilor, has decided at the 11th hour to throw her hat into the ring to win the Labour nomination.
She is one of the founders of the Stop the War Coalition, the anti-war campaign which Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn chaired for four years.
Yaqoob, 48, co-founded the Respect party in 2004, with Guardian columnist and environmentalist George Monbiot.
She stood against Hall Green MP Roger Godsiff in 2005 and 2010, coming a narrow second both times, and served on Birmingham City Council under the Respect flag.
According to the New York Times, there are around 2.7 million Muslims in the UK. They make up 4.4 percent of the population in the UK, mostly living in England and Wales, as found by a 2011 census.
Yet, only 13 out of 650 members of parliament elected in 2015 identify as Muslim or have said they have Muslim heritage.
With many parties keeping a low profile on Muslim issues in the UK, a group called Muslims for Change (MFC) raised funds for candidates who align with their views on key policy areas in May 2017 general election.
Muslims elected as mayors in the UK includes London mayor Sadiq Khan who defeated Boris Johnson in 2016 to become the first Muslim mayor for London.
In May 2018, residents of Newham elected a female British Muslim, Rokhsana Fiaz, as their mayor.