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Mayor of Keighley quits after Pride flag "apology" row

Tuesday, 20 June 2023 00:52

By Chris Young, Local Democracy Reporter

Keighley’s Town Mayor has stood down from the role, a little over a month after being elected.

Councillor Mohammed Nazam was suspended by the Conservative Group on Bradford Council earlier on Monday after he “apologised” for attending a Pride event in Keighley last week.

He said the event went against his beliefs and was a “lapse in judgement.”

Shortly afterwards, Keighley Town Council announced that he had also resigned as Town Mayor, saying he “did not mean any harm to the LGBTQ community.”

He says he will continue to sit on Bradford Council and Keighley Town Council as an independent.

Cllr Nazam attended a Pride flag raising in Keighley last week. But he provoked anger over the weekend after apologising for attending the event on Facebook in a group called Keighley Pakistanis.

He said: “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.”

Cllr Nazam was only elected as Town Mayor at a Council meeting on 18th May.

But in a statement to Keighley Town Council on Monday (19th June), Cllr Nazam said: “I want to tender my resignation as Keighley Town Mayor with immediate effect.

“This has been a difficult decision.

“I attended the flag raising for LGBTQ community. This did not conform to my religious beliefs and hence I offered an apology to the Muslim community.

“All elected Muslim representatives would be in the same position.”

“By my apology I did not mean any harm to the LGBTQ community. My religion teaches respect and tolerance for all and the law of the land.

“Here in the UK we are proud to have our freedom of expression. People should have the freedom to express their beliefs and live their lives as they wish to. This should apply to all communities and religious beliefs.

“I will continue to work as an Independent Town and District Councillor. I will carry out duties with the due diligence I have always shown.”

 

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