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This Is Only The Second MP To Wear A Headscarf In Parliament

Naz Shah, the MP for Bradford West, says defeating George Galloway has made her very popular indeed in the Commons.

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Conservative MPs are celebrating the fact that George Galloway is no longer in parliament by congratulating the new Labour MP who kicked him out.

@UKLabour just cast my vote #LabourGAIN #LabourMustWin #BradfordDeservesBetter

Naz Shah, the newly elected MP for Bradford West, told BuzzFeed News that the response to her beating Galloway, the outspoken ex-MP, had been "absolutely brilliant". Since being elected, she said, Conservatives and others have come up to her to say: "You're the only seat that we're happy that was won by Labour."

Shah added: "It's been brilliant, because I had a girl sat with me earlier and people were just coming up to me and saying things like, 'Congratulations, well done on kicking that misogynistic person out' and 'Well done.'"

She said that people immediately become more interested in her when she tells them she's the MP for Bradford West, due to the hatred for Galloway. "It's my claim to fame," she said.

The former MP is currently being investigated by the police after a complaint was made about whether he incorrectly used parliamentary expenses. He has also claimed he will challenge the election result and petition to have the result set aside.

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Elected MPs traditionally take part in a ceremony where they swear allegiance to the Queen and her heirs.

Although some suggested that Shah might have been the first MP to wear a scarf, she was quick to point out her Labour colleague Shabana Mahmood also did so.

Lionel de Rothschild also wore an head covering when he was sworn in centuries ago, in 1858.

Shah said she decided to wear a headscarf during the ceremony because she chose to swear with the Quran.

"I was swearing in with the Qur'an and I always wear a headscarf when I pray," she said. "So for me it was appropriate. It's who I am really, I'm a Muslim woman, and I cover my hair when I handle the Qur'an."

Shah told BuzzFeed News that she would be "certainly be flying the flag" for ethnic minorities in parliament.

She's one of a record 13 Muslim MPs who were elected in this month's election.

Despite this, she said she didn't want to be "pigeonholed into representing ethnic minorities" and wanted to pursue other interests.

"I represent people of faith, of non-faith, white, black, young, old, regardless of gender, regardless of sexual orientation," she said. "I'm really clear about that."

Siraj Datoo is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Siraj Datoo at siraj.datoo@buzzfeed.com.

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