Anas Sarwar

Anas Sarwar
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Glasgow
Assumed office
6 May 2016
Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour Party
In office
17 December 2011  13 December 2014
Leader Johann Lamont
Preceded by Johann Lamont
Succeeded by Kezia Dugdale
Member of Parliament
for Glasgow Central
In office
6 May 2010  30 March 2015
Preceded by Mohammad Sarwar
Succeeded by Alison Thewliss
Personal details
Born (1983-03-14) 14 March 1983
Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland[1]
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Furheen Ashrif, since 2006
Relations Mohammad Sarwar
Children two sons
Alma mater University of Glasgow
Profession Dentist
Religion Islam

Anas Sarwar, (born 14 March 1983)[2] is a Scottish Labour Party politician who has been a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the Glasgow region since the May 2016 election.

He was previously the Member of Parliament (MP) for Glasgow Central from 2010 until his defeat in 2015, and Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour Party from 2011 to 2014.

Early life

Anas Sarwar was born in Glasgow to Mohammad and Perveen Sarwar. He is the youngest of four siblings.


Sarwar was educated at Hutchesons' Grammar School, an independent school in Glasgow, and studied dentistry at Glasgow University. He graduated in 2005, becoming an NHS General Dental Practitioner before becoming an MP in 2010.

Political career

Sarwar has been a member of the Scottish Labour Party since the age of 16 and was previously part of the team which campaigned successfully to save Govan Shipbuilders in 1999, collecting more than 80,000 signatures. Sarwar was an executive member of Scottish Young Labour, and joined the Co-operative Party, the Fabian Society and the trade unions Unite and Community.[3]

Sarwar has served as a vice-chair of Progress. [4]

Scottish Parliament election, 2007

For the 2007 Scottish Parliament elections, Sarwar was selected to stand as the number one regional list candidate for the Glasgow region.[5] He was a member of Labour's Scottish Policy Forum which was responsible for drawing-up the Labour manifesto for that election.

Sarwar's attempt to enter Holyrood failed at the election when Labour lost control of the Scottish parliament for the first time.[6]

Member of Parliament

Sarwar was elected at the 2010 UK general election as MP for Westminster constituency of Glasgow Central, succeeding his father Mohammad Sarwar, who was the first-ever Muslim MP in the UK. He increasing the previously held majority.[5] He was later elected by his colleagues to serve on the International Development Select Committee. His parliamentary interests include foreign policy and international development. His specific areas of concern are Palestine and Kashmir.[7]

Sarwar is also Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Anti-Corruption and was a member of the Welfare Reform Bill Committee.[8]

At the 2015 UK general election, Sarwar lost the Glasgow Central seat to Alison Thewliss of the Scottish National Party (SNP).

Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour Party

In December 2011, Sarwar was elected Scottish Labour deputy leader receiving 51.10% of the vote.[9] In 2012, he co-ordinated the Scottish Labour Party's Referendum Campaign.[10]

Following the resignation of Johann Lamont on 25 October 2014, Sarwar became the Acting Leader of Scottish Labour, until a new leader was elected. On 30 October he resigned as deputy Scottish leader at a Labour Party dinner in Glasgow.

From 5 November 2014, Sarwar was briefly Labour's shadow spokesperson for International Development.[11]


"Bedroom Tax" stance

In 2013, Sarwar took a strong line in attacking both the "Bedroom Tax" and the Scottish Government for its alleged failure to mitigate its worst effects. However, during a vote on its repeal in the House of Commons on 13 November 2013, Sarwar along with 45 other Labour MPs abstained, with the vote being lost by 252 to 226 – fewer than the number of Labour MPs who had failed to vote.[12] It subsequently emerged that on the day of the vote, Anas Sarwar was in Pakistan, giving a speech to students at Hajvery University, and so was paired off with a Conservative MP.[13]

Independent school

In 2014, Sarwar came under criticism for choosing to send his son to Hutchesons' Grammar School, the same independent school that he himself attended, rather than a state school. MSP John Wilson stated: "Anas Sarwar once again highlights the hypocrisy of the Labour Party – talking of social justice and defending public services while sending his own child to a private school."[14]


In January 2013, Sarwar was awarded the Politician of the Year award at the British Muslim Awards.[15] In January 2015, he was awarded the Spirit of Britain award at the British Muslim Awards.[16]


External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Mohammad Sarwar
Member of Parliament for Glasgow Central
Succeeded by
Alison Thewliss
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