Sajjad was born and grew up in Lancashire, North West England. He has always had a strong interest in politics and at an early age campaigned for the local Conservative candidate in his home town. Sajjad went on to qualify as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales in 1997 and became a partner in several specialist law practices across the North West of England, including his own practices in Pendle and Manchester.
His first taste of political life came when he was elected as a local Councillor on Pendle Borough Council in May 1994. He served in this role for eight years, during which time he held many key chairmanships.
First elected to the European Parliament in 2004, Sajjad was re-elected in June 2009. Since becoming an MEP, Sajjad has established an enviable reputation on the European stage. He represents more than 7 million residents of the North West of England - covering Cumbria, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Lancashire.
In 2009, Sajjad was promoted to the Conservative front bench in the European Parliament as the Legal Affairs Spokesperson. In this position he is continuously working towards improving the law-making process and reducing the administrative and bureaucratic burden across the European Union, something he feels is essential if the European Union is going to be more responsive to the needs of its people. This is particularly significant as almost half the legislation passed in the UK and other EU member states has its origins in the EU. He is a firm believer that decisions made by the EU should be taken as close as possible to the citizen.
Most recently he has been instrumental in ensuring the adoption of European-wide patents by the Parliament. This means that protecting new innovations across much of the EU will soon be a great deal cheaper and easier. This plan will allow 25 out of the 27 EU countries to go ahead with a single patent under a so-called 'Enhanced Cooperation' procedure.
As well as his involvement in legal affairs, Sajjad sits on the Committee of Industry, Research and Energy. Through his work on this committee, he has championed the use and development of renewable energy resources, especially in the North West region on Cumbria’s “energy coast”. Saj continues to push for environmental issues to be high on the agenda and was appointed as the draftsperson on two key opinions in the International Trade Committee on a roadmap for renewable energy in Europe, conventional energy sources and energy technology and 6th Environmental Action Programme.
Sajjad is acutely aware of the important relationship between the European Union, industry and business. Every month he visits a wide range of companies in the North West to gain an understanding of how he and the European Parliament can assist them through the legislative process. He continues to work for a reduction in EU regulations on small businesses, believing that excessive legislation is restrictive and impedes success and growth, something that is particularly relevant in the current economic climate.
Sajjad champions the vital role played by the EU developing and facilitating International trade between the EU and the wider world. He is the European Parliament’s rapporteur on the free trade agreement with India and has authored two trade-related European Parliament Reports on EU-India Trade Relations and the EU-India Free Trade Agreement. Both reports maintain the need for human rights to be integral in any trade related agreement that the EU has with another country. Saj's persistent work to tackle child labour and ensure that it is recognised as an international trade issue, underlines his passion for those causes which interlink trade and human rights.
Saj was the first British Muslim to be elected to the European Parliament and is Co-Chair of the European Muslim Forum. In addition to his committee work, He founded and Chairs the European Parliament Friends of Pakistan Group, a group designed to provide a forum to share and discuss issues of common concern and mutual benefit between the EU and Pakistan. He was a key player in Pakistan receiving aid and a reduction in trade tariffs from the EU following the devastating floods that affected the country in summer 2010.
Sajjad is also a member of the European Parliament Friends of India Group, the European Parliament Friends of Bangladesh Group and Vice-Chair of the Friends of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Group, which enjoys observer status at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.
Sajjad works industriously in his constituency, be it campaigning with local party members or working along-side local businesses. Having a strong global perspective he is committed to reaching out beyond the North West and the EU and strives to bring international benefits to the EU and particularly to the North West of England.
Sajjad was re-elected in the summer of 2014 European Elections.
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