Naz has championed women’s rights across the country achieving national recognition for her work. She is the chair of mental health charity Sharing Voices Bradford, but is perhaps better known locally as the campaigning daughter of Zoora Shah, who was jailed in 1993 for poisoning her partner Mohammed Azam after years of suffering domestic violence, and later released early.
She was born in Bradford West and went to school at Green Lane nursery through to Waverley Middle school until the age of 12 when she was sent to live with her grandparents in Pakistan for three years.
When she returned aged 15 she was subjected to a forced marriage and was not allowed to return to school, instead starting work in an industrial dry cleaners then packing crisps at Seabrooks factory.
She later became a carer for children and adults with disabilities and worked her way up to become an NHS Commissioner and subsequently a Director of a Regional Leadership Programme for Local Government Yorkshire & Humber. She served as a Samaritan for a number of years and has sat on the boards of a number of charities and campaigning groups.
Speaking after being chosen as Bradford West candidate, Naz Shah said “I’m proud to have been chosen as the Labour Party’s candidate for the seat in which I was born and am proud to call home.
“I am someone with a track record of campaigning and working for grass roots change and promise that if elected I will be a visible presence for Bradford West constituents and a stark alternative to divisive figure George Galloway.
“As is well documented I have faced big challenges in my life – I know the struggles being faced by families across Bradford West because they are struggles I have had to experience myself too. My life, since as far back as I can possibly remember, has been about having responsibility. From the age of 6 I became an “interpreter‟ for my mother as my father had left her with two young children and expecting a third child.
“In the by-election in 2012 people here were sold a fake vision by a man who now admits he is more interested in winning elections than actually representing his constituents. I know much of the anger that people felt about mainstream parties in Bradford then still exists now, but so does a deep sense of betrayal among residents here – particularly women and young people – that Galloway led them to the top of the mountain then deserted them.
“People here want real change, and they want someone who will genuinely fight their corner – I can be that person. I will not ever make promises I can’t keep, and I will absolutely always put Bradford West people first – as your MP I would work full time for you, and only for you.”