| GEO World|
| Shabana Mahmood becomes first female Muslim MP|
| Updated at: 1533 PST, Friday, May 07, 2010|
LONDON: Pakistan-origin Barrister Shabana Mahmood romped home to beat off a Liberal Democrat challenge, taking Birmingham Ladywood for Labour.
Against most expectations, Mahmood, whose victory has made her Britain's first female Muslim MP, increased the party's majority over the Liberal Democrats to 10,000.
Her efforts resulted in a 2.5 per cent swing to Labour from the Lib Dems.
In the 2005 General Election, Liberal Democrat candidate Ayoub Khan, who is also a city councillor, increased the Lib Dem share of the vote in Ladywood by 23.3 per cent - the best performance in the country. But on this occasion his support fell away, particularly in his stronghold of Aston.
The election campaign in Ladywood was dominated by argument about the constituency's soaring unemployment, topping 30 per cent in some wards.
Mahmood said she was "humbled and honoured" to be elected.
She added: "This is a constituency with significant challenges but it is incredibly diverse and vibrant.
"I pledge to be a hard working MP, working every day to fulfil he faith people have in me.
"I will fight for Ladywood as a passionate and committed Labour MP."