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Stand-in Lord Mayor 'honoured' to hold post
9:20am Thursday 14th March 2013 in News
OXFORD’S new Lord Mayor said he was honoured to be the first member of an ethnic minority to take up the role.
Labour’s Mohammed Abbasi, 70, was yesterday elected as the first citizen of Oxford after Liberal Democrat Alan Armitage resigned.
Mr Abbasi and his deputy, Green councillor Elise Benjamin, will serve until May when Labour’s Dee Sinclair takes up the post for the next year.
Mr Abbasi, a former Deputy Lord Mayor, who represents Cowley Marsh, was elected unanimously, along with Iffley Fields councillor Ms Benjamin.
He said: “I’m very pleased. It’s a great honour for me to be the first non-white Lord Mayor of Oxford.”
A new holder of the office was needed after Mr Armitage stood down over “inappropriate” comments made to a schoolgirl last year.
Council leader Bob Price praised Mr Abbasi’s “dignity and charm”.
He said: “I think everyone in this chamber will join me in regretting the chain of events which led to us having this meeting, particularly to the young lady at the centre of this incident.”
Mr Armitage was not at the meeting.