Baroness Sayeeda Warsi was born in Dewsbury, in 1971, to Pakistani family from Bewal, Gujar Khan. She is the second of five daughters. Her father, Safdar Hussain, operates a manufacturing company, which has a turnover of over £2 million a year, after starting life as a mill worker. Sayeeda believes that her father's success led her to adopting Conservative principles.
Sayeeda Warsi is one of Conservatives Party’s leading campaigners and as Co-Chairman is at the forefront of the Party’s political and election campaigns.
Sayeeda has been politically involved since her early college days. She believes in aspiration and opportunity, inspired by her father, who arrived in this country with almost nothing and founded a local manufacturing firm which still runs as a family business today.
Sayeeda has always had a keen interest in faith and racial justice issues. She was instrumental in the launch of Operation Black Vote in West Yorkshire in 1996 and was for many years both an executive member of the Kirklees Racial Equality Council and a member of the Joseph Rowntree Trust Racial Justice Committee. In October 2009, Sayeeda took on the leader of the BNP, Nick Griffin, on BBC’s Question Time.
In 2004, Michael Howard appointed Sayeeda as an adviser and Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party. She was appointed a Conservative Peer by David Cameron in 2007 and served as Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion and Social Action. After the 2010 General Election, Sayeeda became the first Muslim to serve as a full member of the British Cabinet.
In September 2010, Sayeeda made the first of a series of keynote addresses on the importance of faith as a force for good in society, signaling a new direction in government policy and making clear that the coalition government does “do God”.
Sayeeda has volunteered all her life, in mentoring, community groups, and as a trustee of the Savayra Foundation, a woman’s empowerment charity. Beginning with the Waves Network Social Action Project in 2005, she has worked with other Conservatives to place social action at the heart of the Party and has led a number of Conservative Social Action projects, including Project Maja in Bosnia.
Sayeeda was educated at Birkdale High School and Dewsbury College, and then the University of Leeds where she read Law (LLB). She attended the York College of Law to complete her Legal Practice Course and trained with both the Crown Prosecution Service and the Home Office Immigration Department.
After qualifying as a Solicitor, she worked for John Whitfield, the last Conservative Member of Parliament for Dewsbury, at Whitfield Hallam Goodall Solicitors and then went on to set up her own specialist practice, George Warsi Solicitors in Dewsbury. She has also worked overseas on a research project for the Ministry of Law in Pakistan.