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Keighley town mayor suspended by Tories over Pride event apology

Monday, 19 June 2023 15:35

By Chris Young, Local Democracy Reporter

A Conservative Councillor from Keighley has been suspended after apologising for attending a Pride event and describing his participation as a "lapse in judgement".

Councillor Mohammed Nazam represents Keighley Central on Bradford Council, and is also a few weeks into his role as Keighley Town Mayor.

Earlier this month, he attended a Pride flag raising ceremony in Keighley, alongside Keighley and Ilkley MP Robbie Moore.

Over the weekend Cllr Nazam caused outrage after apologising for attending the event on Facebook.

On a Facebook Page called Keighley Pakistanis, he said attending the event was a “lapse in judgement” and urged the community to forgive him.

He received heavy criticism after the post, with Mr Moore saying: “The role of the town mayor is to represent everyone within the community, and therefore it was deeply disheartening to read the mayor’s statement.

“The mayor needs to apologise and consider his position.”

Helen Hallam, a trustee of Out in the Valley LGBTQ group, said: “Mr Mayor, we live in a secular society and have a diverse community. If this is not to your liking, why accept the honour of being town mayor? In my humble opinion you should resign forthwith.”

This afternoon, Cllr Nazam has had his membership of the Conservative Group on Bradford Council suspended. 

Councillor Rebecca Poulsen, Leader of the Conservative Group on Bradford Council said: “Further to complaints regarding his recent social media activities, Councillor Mohammed Nazam has had his membership of the Conservative Group suspended pending investigations. As these investigations are ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time”.

Cllr Nazam’s Facebook post following the flag raising read: “I wholeheartedly apologise for my participation in the flag-raising ceremony, as it contradicts my personal religious beliefs, as many of you are aware.

“I want to emphasise that I have also personally repented for this error and reflected deeply on the consequences of my actions. Looking back, I realise that I should have respectfully declined the request at the time.

“While I’m unwavering in my commitment to uphold my deep-rooted religious beliefs as a faithful Muslim, I want to emphasise that I actively support and promote tolerance for individuals of all faiths, creeds and colours, as my faith and the law of the land requires me to do.

“It is my hope that the people who have placed their trust in me within our community can find it in their hearts to forgive me for this lapse in judgment.”

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