• Friday, June 14, 2024


Brighton and Hove gets first south Asian Muslim mayor

Councillors unanimously elected Mohammed Asaduzzaman to the role

Mayor Mohammed Asaduzzaman and his wife Most Ara

By: Sarah Booker-Lewis

BRIGHTON and Hove has its first South Asian Muslim mayor after councillors unanimously elected councillor Mohammed Asaduzzaman to the largely ceremonial role.

Traditionally, mayors take up the chains of office after many years of service on Brighton and Hove city council – not least as they are required to chair meetings of the full council.

But the 63-year-old chef was only elected to the council in Hollingdean and Fiveways ward at the local elections last May.

Even so, the Labour leader of the council Bella Sankey said that he had dedicated many years to public service in Brighton and Hove before he was elected.

At the “annual council” meeting at Brighton Town Hall on Thursday (16), councillor Sankey described Asaduzzaman as a “well-known and well-loved” figure in the community.

She said: “Mohammed is warm, kind, funny and ambitious for our city. He is also part of a duo. And my nomination would not be complete without mentioning his consort and beloved wife, Most Ara. I know she will be a credit to him and our city in the year ahead.

“Brighton and Hove can look forward to a mayor whose compassion has already left a mark on the city’s social, cultural, economic and political landscape and whose role will inspire our residents to work better together and to transform our city for the better.”

She said that his good works included providing 500 free meals to essential service providers during the covid-19 pandemic.

He also pushed for vaccinations for those with uncertain immigration status, acted as an interpreter for those in legal need and gave support to victims of crime.

Green councillor Raphael Hill said: “I would encourage the mayor to be mindful of the politically neutral nature of his role as the mayor is separate from the administration.

“I’m sure he’ll work hard to ensure that all councillors can make their voices heard in debate.”

Councillor Asaduzzaman donned the robes of office in the chamber of the Georgian town hall, joined by his wife Most Jasmin Ara.

Labour councillor Amanda Grimshaw was elected as deputy mayor and is expected to take over the mayoralty in a year’s time.

In Brighton and Hove, the mayor has a largely ceremonial role as first citizen, welcoming visitors and representing the city on the regional, national and international stage. The mayor also chairs meetings of the full council.

Each year, the mayor traditionally supports a number of local charities. Councillor Asaduzzaman has chosen BHT Sussex, the Sussex Cricket Foundation, Chomp Brighton, My University Hospitals Sussex, Brighton Students’ Union and the Royal Pavilion and Museums Trust.

(Local Democracy Reporting Service)

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