will be made this year when a Leeds councillor becomes the first Asian
Lord Mayor of Leeds. The Labour group on Leeds City Council have
selected Councillor Mohammed Iqbal to be the city's first citizen from
I know Mohammed from my time as a Leeds councillor and I think that
the Labour group have made an excellent choice. Mohammed is a likeable
chap, very down to earth and friendly - an adopted Yorkshireman! I've
been particularly impressed by the work Mohammed has done since the
London bombings in promoting community cohesion.
Mohammed is a Muslim born in Kashmir and he came to Leeds when he
was nine years old. He was elected to the city council in 1999 and
represents City and Hunslet ward. This south Leeds community was rocked
six months ago when it was discovered that the London bombers had lived
as part of the community there. The choice of the Labour group to make
Mohammed Lord Mayor will certainly boost the south Leeds Asian
Mohammed said that Labour's decision to nominate him sent a strong
message to communities across the city, "It shows that if you are
prepared to get involved in your community and the wider society, be
positive and make a strong contribution then Leeds offers all its
people opportunities. Everyone should realise they are an important
part of society."
Mohammed has promised to work hard to promote Leeds and bring
together people of all different faiths and cultures and I know he'll
do an excellent job. He'll be devoting himself to the year of office
full time which is just as well as he has been told to expect up to
"Leeds has a great tradition of welcoming and embracing people from
all over the world. It welcomed my family and it is a great honour
and a privilege to be given the chance to represent it in this
Mohammed is a self employed businessman and is married to Fatima.
They have a daughter Sayeka, aged 22 and a son, Mohammed Awais, aged
nine. Sayeka, who is studying law at Leeds University, has agreed to
carry out the duties of Lady Mayoress.
All the best to Mohammed for the busy year ahead as Lord Mayor. I
know that he will make his year of office count and make a real