Rehman Chisthi was appointed as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief on 12 September 2019. He has been MP for Gillingham and Rainham since May 2010.
Born in Pakistan, Rehman moved to the UK when he was 6. He was educated at local schools in Medway, and studied law at the University of Wales Aberystwyth.
After University, Rehman studied for his Barristers vocational course at the Inns of Court School of Law. Rehman was called to the Bar of England and Wales at Lincolns Inn in 2001.
Rehman is currently a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee and previously served on the Justice Select Committee and Joint Committee on Human Rights.
In 2018 Rehman was the Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party covering faith and communities.
From 2017 to 2018, Rehman was the Prime Minister’s UK Trade Envoy to Pakistan. Other previous government appointments include Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Rt Hon Jeremy Wright QC MP, Attorney General in 2015 to 2016, and PPS to Nick Gibb MP, Minister of State for Education in 2014 to 2015.
Rehman has been Chair of the Conservative Foreign and Commonwealth Council since 2016 and is an Executive Member of the British American Parliamentary Group.
From 1999 to 2007, Rehman served as a Political Adviser to Benazir Bhutto.
In 2006 Rehman was an Adviser on communities to then Chairman of the Conservative Party Francis Maude.
Career outside of politics
Rehman practiced as a Barrister at Goldsmith Chambers, specialising in criminal law both prosecution and defence.
His interests include running, tennis, squash, football (watching the Gills), cricket, travelling, films and spending time with family.
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Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief
The Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief:
- demonstrates the country’s commitment to freedom of religion or belief by promoting inter-faith respect and dialogue internationally
- promotes the UK’s firm stance on religious tolerance abroad, helping to tackle religious discrimination in countries where minority faith or belief groups face persecution
The Prime Minister’s Special Envoy undertakes these activities on behalf of, and reports to, the Prime Minister.