Posts Tagged ‘Sparkhill’

Labour MP Lynne Jones backs Respect Hall Green candidate Salma Yaqoob

Lynne Jones MP endorses Salma Yaqoob for MP

Lynne Jones MP endorses Salma Yaqoob for MP

‘Retiring Labour MP Lynne Jones has dropped a bombshell on her party by backing a candidate from a rival party to replace her in the House of Commons.

Dr Jones is refusing to vote for Roger Godsiff, the Labour candidate in the Birmingham constituency where she lives.

Instead, she is supporting Salma Yaqoob, high-profile candidate for the Respect Party and a Sparkbrook councillor.

Her announcement is a blow to Labour’s hopes of holding on to the Hall Green constituency, where it was already facing a strong challenge from Respect…’ Continue reading at the Birmingham Post here.

Related articles:

Selly Oak MP Lynne Jones ‘not happy’ over candidateBBC News, 09.04.10

Selly Oak Labour MP won’t support colleague at general electionBirmingham Mail, 09.04.10

Respect’s Yaqoob is best choice claims Labour MPMorning Star, 09.04.10



Salma Yaqoob in the community

Here’s a selection of events and causes Birmingham councillor Salma Yaqoob has been highlighting and supporting this past week:

Larches Park Clean Up

Salma Yaqoob with Larches Park Residents Group chair Asghar Ali and local PCSOs Natasha Bruckshaw and Meryl Crawford

Larches Park in Sparkbrook

Both Cllr Salma Yaqoob and Cllr Mohammed Ishtiaq (Respect) have been working closely with Larches Park Residents Group recently to help them improve their local neighbourhood and regain confidence in the use of their local park. Larches Park has been one of the areas that was left neglected for many years and had got pretty run down. Parents didn’t feel comfortable bringing their kids there until now. More here.

Bangladesh Independence Day

Bangladesh Independence Day celebrations in Birmingham (UK) with Salma Yaqoob

Bangladesh Ind. Day

Birmingham’s Bangladeshi community invited Cllr Salma Yaqoob to the Bia Lounge in Small Heath to celebrate Bangladesh Independence Day.

The event also marked International Mother Language Day in celebration of Bangla being the country’s national tongue. More here.


Salma Yaqoob with parents of children with autism

Salma meets carers

Rewarding Parents

Salma was invited to present certificates to carers of family members of who disabilities. They had completed a seven week course organised by South Birmingham PCT in which they learnt more about understanding and coping with autism. More here.


Campaigners from Bristol visit Birmingham

Respect Leader Salma Yaqoob with members of Bristol Respect

Bristol Respect team

Members of Bristol Respect and other supporters came to Birmingham to help Salma Yaqoob on her election trail to help her become MP for the Hall Green constituency.

They joined her with leafleting and met with members of the community. More here.


Desi Donors Amun Ali Appeal

Salma Yaqoob with Ashgar Khan, father of Amun Ali, and Reena Combo of Desi Donors

Desi Donors

Desi Donors have been set up to encourage individuals of south Asian origin to join the national Bone Marrow register to help those in need of a transplant. Working with the Anthony Nolan Trust, Desi Donors have been actively campaigning to save the life of young local school boy Amun Ali. Salma joined the drive in Small Heath, Birmingham and registered herself with over a hundred other volunteers. More here.

Fundraising dinner in aid of orphanages in Pakistan

Salma was the guest speaker at a fundraising dinner in the

Salma Yaqoob at a Pakistani Orphanages Fundraiser in Birmingham

Fundraising for orphans

Crystal Plaza for orphanages in Pakistan. About 600 people were present. Jannat al Ferdous, founded by Shamim Mahmood and family friends, have set up four orphanages in the last five years, helping over 800 Pakistani children. More here.

For more on Salma Yaqoob’s campaigning and council work, visit her website:


Respect join protest against greedy bankers

Citizens of Birmingham join the protests against corporate greed

Citizens of Birmingham join the protests against corporate greed

Last week, Respect party members, councillors and candidates joined a community protest against corporate greed.

Protest against greedy bankers

Protest against bankers

With banners highlighting the issues around banks holding the general population and government to ransom, local residents and community members joined the cavalcade of protest vehicles on the streets of Birmingham to make their voices heard.

Amongst them Respect party leader Salma Yaqoob, Birmingham councillors Mohammed Ishtiaq, Shokat Ali and Respect council candidate for the Hall Green ward, Rana Nazir.

Writing on her website, Salma Yaqoob said: “Today’s protest against bankers greed and their restrictions on credit, which is endangering many small businessess in these tough economic times, was great fun and highly effective!

Birmingham protest against bank credit

Anti-Bank Credit protest in Birmingham

“The media saw us off and we made a big impact in the Sparkbrook and Springfield wards, getting lots of hoots of support from car drivers and waves from well-wishers. Well done to all involved!”

More pictures here and here.
For more information and to join the campaign, visit

Salma Yaqoob’s New Blog

Salma Yaqoob Official Blog Website

Salma Yaqoob's new official campaign blog website

Salma Yaqoob has established a new website,, that will be essential reading in the few weeks we have left before the general election, and of course hopefully she will then be able to use the same website to report what she is doing as MP for Birmingham Hall Green!

The Green Party campaign for Salma Yaqoob in Hall Green

The Green Party campaign for Salma Yaqoob

Salma’s general election campaign is well under way. She needs all the support she can get. If you would like to volunteer your help in any way, you make a financial donation online, or ring on 078 121 72885 or email Salma at

So far there have been the following stories:

Lib Dems mislead public on Sparkhill Baths, a local issue in the constituency, where the Lib Dems are, as they are all too often, being economical with the truth in their election leaflets

An account of meeting Ben White, author of ‘Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide’ (Pluto Press 2009)

Reflections on the government’s failure to tackle inequality

A response to the Chilcot inquiry, with the good news that Respect MP George Galloway will be on BBC TV’s Question Time on Thursday, at 10.35pm. The show is being broadcast from Coventry. Other guests are Clare Short, Lord Falconer and Melanie Phillips.

An account of how members of the Green Party were out campaigning for Salma last weekend (see picture above)

Salma’s own response to the Chilcot inquiry

A tribute to the recently deceased American socialist academic Howard Zinn

and a discussion of the significance of Islam4UK’s provocation in announcing a proposed march in Wootton Bassett, and the importance of there being a debate about the Afghan war in the political mainstream.

Salma Yaqoob’s Christmas Commitments

Salma Yaqoob and residents sing Christmas carols in Sparkbrook, Birmingham

Salma Yaqoob and residents sing Christmas carols in Sparkbrook, Birmingham

Birmingham’s Cllr Salma Yaqoob spent the week before Christmas out carol singing and delivering hampers to the needy – and hopes it will inspire others to seek out new ways to create a more united community.

“I went out carol singing [18th Dec] to some of our local old people’s homes in the ward on Thursday evening! Some people may think it is odd as I am a Muslim so let me explain. Firstly, Muslims do believe in the Virgin Birth, and indeed view Jesus as a Messiah, so many of the carols are relevant, and I can genuinely share in some of the spiritual significance of Christmas. Theology aside, however, it was just a wonderful experience to see the genuine happiness that such a small act brought to some of our elderly residents.

“There was a group of us – some from Balsall Heath Forum, some from local churches, as well as some other Muslims. I took my eldest son Hamza with me, and really enjoyed seeing how he was touched by the responses of many of the residents who shook his hand and had tears in their eyes (although he did point out that could have been because of my bad singing!)

“I do have to point out though that as Muslims are strictly ‘monotheistic’ – believing in the Unity of God – I had the delicate job of ensuring Hamza and I avoided singing anything which contradicted this, resulting in some uneven singing! Upon such details are interfaith experiences built…
Overall though it was a lovely, genuinely uplifting evening, and I would highly recommend it!”

On the evening of 17th December, Cllr Yaqoob was invited to the Institute of Asian Businesses‘ End of Year dinner at Sher Khan’s in Star City, Birmingham, describing the event as “a good opportunity to network as well as to meet a few old friends”.

Salma explained she was struck by the number of businesses approaching her concerning raids on their shops in relation to the possible employment of illegal immigrants.

“They were concerned about the aggressive and frequent manner in which this was happening, saying they understood that the police have a job to do, but that they could do the same job in a more subtle way. For example, in one raid twenty officers turned up, and closed the shutters down just to check which staff worked there (nothing illegal was found). Observers may well have thought a terror raid was happening, and it could impact on the reputation of the business. I shall certainly be taking up this issue, as clearly it is causing a lot of distress,” she said.

Cllr Salma Yaqoob delivers Christmas hampers in Birmingham

Cllr Salma Yaqoob delivers Christmas hampers in Birmingham

Earlier thet day, Salma joined Balsall Heath Forum wardens who were delivering Christmas hampers for elderly people in the area. Over 100 vulnerable residents had been identified and were being visited over the Christmas period.

The food for the hampers was gathered by local schools, Ombersley Road Mosque and local church groups.

Of the effort, Salma explained: “One of the things I love about my job is seeing how the community comes together, and the difference being made. The banter and camaraderie in putting the hampers together, delivering, talking to residents is great!

“One elderly black lady questioned Abdullah, who works as a warden and is Asian; ‘Why are you giving me this when I’m not one of yours?’ He replied: ‘But you are one of ours!’ She broke down in tears and gave him a big hug. This simple exchange is not the kind of thing you see in the scaremongering headlines, but is certainly the stuff that makes me proud to me a Brummie!”

Campaigning for Salma Iqbal

Salma Iqbal canvassing

Campaigning for candidate Salma Iqbal

The Salma Iqbal campaign team has been in full gear this weekend with volunteers canvassing for the Springfield Respect candidate.

With the local elections looming on the 1st of May, campaigners and friends have been rallying support amongst local residents in Sparkhill and surrounding areas.

A new newsletter outlining Respect’s commitment to safer streets and communities in the city has been distributed, highlighting Salma Iqbal’s aims to improve car parking in local neighbourhoods, encourage cleaner streets, campaign for better youth provision and reinforcing her opposition to the ‘Red Route’ in the area.

“Campaigning is a vital part of the election process. Local residents need to know what we stand for and how we hope to represent them before they vote in May. I didn’t see many other parties braving the weather and meeting the residents of Springfield as we did today, and that’s because I believe we have a commitment to raise their concerns and make their voice heard by the council,” explained Salma.

“I hope they will choose to elect me as their representative so we can finally make a positive difference in the community.”

Salma Iqbal canvassing

Campaigning for Respect candidate Salma Iqbal

Father and son team Mark and Jordan France traveled all the way from Stourbridge to assist with the effort. Young Jordan, aged 12, said:

“Campaigning was great as we met loads of nice people and we got a very good response.”

“In the streets canvassed we got positive responses from the overwhelming majority of people despite the appalling weather,” added father Mark.

Canvassing this weekend for Salma Iqbal

Salma Iqbal

Salma Iqbal

Hi all,

Elections are only 5 weeks away and there is loads to be done. We will be out canvassing the Springfield ward this weekend on both Saturday and Sunday (29th and 30th March). Meet at 1pm outside St John’s Church on Stratford Road, Sparkhill, B11.
I would be greatful if you would let me know if you are able to help and on which days.

MEETING POINT: St John’s Church, St John’s Road, Sparkhill, Birmingham, B11 4RG

You may email your queries and details to: . Many thanks.

Salma Iqbal (Respect candidate for Springfield, Birmingham)