Last updated: 3 june, 2010 - 12:58 GMT

Britain's first Asian Cabinet Minister

Baroness Warsi at 10 Downing Street

To play this content JavaScript must be turned on and the latest Flash player installed.

Play in either Real OR Windows Media players

The Baroness Sayeeda Warsi of Dewsbury is a British politician with a number of firsts under her belt.

She is the first Asian person to hold a full Cabinet post in the UK Government, the first Muslim to do so, and in 2007 when she was 36, she became the first Muslim woman to sit on the front bench of a British political party.

The outcome of the UK general election last month was described by the new Prime Minister David Cameron as an "historic and seismic shift" in British politics.

It is the first coalition government in decades, but even around a Cabinet table of notable appointees, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi stands out.

Born in the old English mill town of Dewsbury, the 39 year-old describes herself as a "northern, working-class, urban, working-mum".

She is also a former criminal lawyer, and a Muslim whose father came to Britain from Pakistan in the 1960s.

Yet she is now the co-Chairman of the Conservative Party, a member of the House of Lords, and Minister without Portfolio in the new Cabinet - an appointment to the very top tier of British politics which featured in headlines around the world.

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi met Matthew Bannister and told him about her family's humble beginnings in the North of England, the racial abuse she experienced campaigning in her hometown, and what inspired her politically.

She also described the moment she was asked to become a Cabinet minister, and the sacrifices involved in raising a family of five children while doing a high level political job.

Baroness Warsi (right) with Prime Minister David Cameron (left) and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (centre)

More from Outlook

  • Human interest stories behind the headlines

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.