Saleyha Ahsan, Candidate for London
Saleyha, who was born in Essex and now lives in Stratford, East London, is a practising emergency medicine doctor in the NHS and a broadcaster. Her career first began as a reporter for BBC local radio where she cemented her passion for journalism. However after gaining a place on the Officer Commissioning Course at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1996 - the first British Muslim woman to do so - Saleyha was commissioned into the Royal Army Medical Corps as a non-medical support officer, with her first role as a troop commander of up to 60 soldiers.
It was whilst on operational tour of Bosnia in 1997 that she was inspired to become a doctor, after witnessing the work of military medics caring for severely injured Bosnian civilians as a consequence of the war. She left the army, at the rank of captain, to begin her medical training at Dundee University. Last year, Saleyha was invited back to Dundee to receive an honorary degree in recognition of her work in both humanitarian medicine and media.
In 2012, Saleyha completed her LLM in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, where she gained invaluable training in EU law.
Saleyha has worked as both a filmmaker and a doctor in a number of humanitarian settings, including Syria, Libya, DRCongo, Kashmir, Palestine and Pakistan. In 2013, she travelled to Syria with the BBC’s Panorama as part of the film Saving Syria’s Children. In her other broadcasting roles, she has worked regularly for the BBC’s One Show and was part of the original cast for the BBC’s hit series Trust Me I’m A Doctor.
In 2018 Saleyha took part in the Bear Grylls Celebrity Island Challenge, surviving to the end. She has made films for Channel 4 news, Guardian Films and ITV. Her written work has featured in the New York Times, The New Statesman, The Guardian, Independent and the Daily Mail.