Page last updated at 09:37 GMT, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 10:37 UK

Town swears in first Muslim mayor

Jawaid Ishaq
Mr Ishaq has lived in Britain since 1965

The first Muslim mayor in the Humber region has been sworn in.

Councillor Jawaid Ishaq MBE, 62, replaced Tony Ellerby as the Mayor of North Lincolnshire in a ceremony at the Plowright Theatre in Scunthorpe.

He said: "I come from a tiny village in Kashmir and I'm proud to have come this far in British politics.

"I hope the younger ethnic generation in the region will take a leaf out of my book and play an active part in doing their best for the community."

Along with councillors and members of the public, pupils from local schools were also invited to witness the mayor elect take on his new role.

Royal visit

Mr Ishaq made history in 2002 when he organised the Queen's first visit to a British mosque at the Islamic Centre in Scunthorpe.

He said at the time: "We invited her not knowing whether we'd be turned down or not. But she agreed to visit and she chose Scunthorpe."

North Lincolnshire Council leader Mark Kirk said of Wednesday's ceremony: "This is an important event in the council's calendar where everyone comes together to elect a new mayor.

"The mayor and deputy are at the forefront of the council.

"They will represent North Lincolnshire at civic events and promote what a great place North Lincolnshire is to work, live and visit."


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