A teenage Muslim enlisted to advise ministers on combating extremism is herself a member of a Trotskyist revolutionary party. Sabiha Iqbal, 18, the privately educated daughter of a civil servant, belongs to the Socialist Workers Party, which is dedicated to the overthrow of parliament, the state and capitalism.
The appointment of the law student from Bradford to the Young Muslim Advisory Group was greeted with incredulity by intelligence experts yesterday. Miss Iqbal herself described the decision to bring her in as a consultant to Communities Secretary Hazel Blears and Families Secretary Ed Balls as “very odd”. But Mrs Blears said: “If you don’t want to change the world at 17, that’s a shame.”
Miss Iqbal insisted yesterday that she was not an extremist, saying “I am Left-wing about some things and Right-wing about others. I agree with the equality ideas of socialism.”
Professor Anthony Glees, director of the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies at the University of Buckingham, said: “Ministers should be picking democratic leaders and people with experience, not people they think will bring in the ‘yoof’ vote. To go for somebody like Miss Iqbal is appalling.”