Habib Rahman sworn in as Newcastle’s first ever non-white Lord Mayor in top job’s 800-year history

Newcastle has appointed the town’s first ever non-white Lord Mayor in the top civic job’s 800-year history.

Habib Rahman turned Newcastle’s first citizen on Wednesday afternoon, breaking new floor as the one BAME individual ever to occupy the ceremonial place, which dates again to the 1200s.

The Elswick councillor moved to Tyneside together with his mom and 6 brothers from Bangladesh in 1985 on the age of 12, unable to talk a phrase of English.

Coun Rahman, whose appointment to succeed David Cook as mayor was delayed by a yr due to Covid-19, was formally elected to the publish at Newcastle City Council’s annual basic assembly.

The Labour councillor, who has served two years as Sheriff and Deputy Mayor of Newcastle, gave a deeply emotional speech in which he paid tribute to his “inspirational” mom and straight addressed his late father, Azizur.

In 1977, Azizur had moved to the town in search of a greater life – however was killed simply 10 days later, stabbed in the Wallsend restaurant the place he labored by a white buyer who was sad in regards to the dimension of a takeaway curry.

Coun Rahman informed colleagues that his childhood in Newcastle had additionally been marred by “brutal racism” and that his experiences as an Asian Muslim dwelling right here had made him decided to defeat the evils of discrimination.

The new Lord Mayor of Newcastle Habib Rahman pictured together with his prolonged household at Newcastle Civic Centre.

The 47-year-old, whose background is as a youth employee, described his appointment as “one of many proudest moments of my life” and pledged to make use of his yr in workplace to advertise respect, tolerance, and equality.

After the ceremony, the father-of-three mentioned: “This is history in the making. History ought to have been made a very long time in the past, nevertheless it units a problem for us now to verify our metropolis stays free and open to individuals of all faiths, color, ethnicity, and gender. I’ll be sure that I promote that and that I problem and condemn hate crime and racism of each kind.”

Newcastle has had a mayor since Daniel, son of Nicholas, in 1216 however the workplace of Lord Mayor was not created till 1906, when King Edward VII granted the decree.

Asked why he wished to talk on to his father throughout his acceptance speech, Coun Rahman added: “I wished to make the purpose that he has been deeply missed by all of us and to ship him the message that Newcastle shouldn’t be the racist metropolis that he noticed in 1977.

“This is a protected, tolerant metropolis now because of the work that has been performed from establishments and people. Perhaps a few of that began from the dying of my father.

“I wished to say to him that he shouldn’t really feel scared for us now, this metropolis is loads higher than when he left it.”

Coun Rahman was described as a key member of anti-racism teams such as Show Racism the Red Card (SRTRC) and the Black Lives Matter motion.

Former Newcastle United star and SRTRC founding patron, John Beresford joined him at Wednesday’s ceremony and was named amongst a various group of mayoral companions.

The new Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Habib Rahman, pictured at Newcastle Civic Centre with former Newcastle United footballer John Beresford

He mentioned: “Habib Rahman has been an impressive supporter of SRTRC since 1998 and helped us to grow to be the UK’s main anti-racism training charity. We will likely be discussing some thrilling new initiatives for fundraising with Habib in his new position as Lord Mayor of Newcastle Upon Tyne.”

Fellow Toon legend Shaka Hislop, president of SRTRC, added: “It is with actual delight that I watched Habib Rahman’s rise in politics. Always pushed, and at all times main by instance, Habib regularly offers of himself in supporting those that want it most.

“I received to know Habib by way of his work with Show Racism The Red Card, and bear witness this history being made, in a metropolis we each love, with a way of honor and optimism that comes with understanding our new Lord Mayor as I do.”

Fellow Labour councillor Irim Ali, who formally nominated Coun Rahman for the publish, was tearful as she spoke of an “extraordinarily proud and emotional second” for Newcastle.

Coun Nick Forbes, the town’s Labour chief, mentioned that Coun Rahman’s appointment despatched a “highly effective message about Newcastle and our values” and that the normal mayoral chains had now turn into a “image of our various communities certain collectively in friendship and delight”.

The Sheriff and Deputy Mayor position will now move to long-serving Lib Dem councillor Anita Lower, the previous chief of the council’s opposition group.

supply: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/information/north-east-news/habib-rahman-newcastle-mayor-bame-20684980


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