Newcastle has appointed its first-ever British Bangladeshi Lord Mayor with Cllr Habib Rahman becoming the first citizen of Newcastle. An elected council member for Elswick, Habib moved to the United Kingdom from Bangladesh as a child. As a city councilor, he became Newcastle’s first Black, Asian, minority ethnic (BAME) cabinet member in 2018 and then Sheriff and Deputy Lord Mayor in 2019. In these positions, he has championed equality and community cohesion and campaigned for anti-racism and anti-hate charities.
Cllr. Rahman says, “It is with immense pride that I become the Lord Mayor of Newcastle. It is a prestigious and significant position representing the city I am lucky to call home. The Lord Mayor chooses a theme for their term in office, and my theme for the year will be respect, tolerance, and equality.”
As Lord Mayor, Cllr Rahman will be joined by his wife of 20 years, Rubi Sultana, as Lady Mayoress. His chosen charities will be Show Racism the Red Card, Rohingya Action North East, and the Monu Dorji Foundation – a charity established in Bangladesh in memory of Cllr Rahman’s late father.
Cllr. Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “Habib’s election as Lord Mayor is a historic moment for Newcastle. We are blessed with a rich diversity amongst our many communities, and Habib has repeatedly demonstrated the importance of giving everyone a voice. He was the first Muslim member of the Council’s Cabinet, and in being elected our first Muslim Lord Mayor he is breaking a glass ceiling and blazing a trail for others to follow.”