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Islington names first Bangladeshi mayor

11:19 12 May 2012

Cllr Jilani Chowdhury, Islington

Cllr Jilani Chowdhury, Islington's new mayor

Archant

The first Bangladeshi mayor in Islington’s history was appointed on Thursday.

Cllr Jilani Chowbury, who has represented Barnsbury ward since 2006, is expected to be sworn in at tonight’s annual council meeting.

The 47-year-old Labour councillor, who has just finished serving as deputy mayor, moved to Islington in 1992 and lives with his wife and three children.

Cllr Chowbury was born in Bangladesh and was active in the movement against the county’s military regime when he was general secretary of the Moulvibar College Students’ Union.

He was later head of the civil service association of Bangladesh, standing for employee rights and equal opportunities.

He said: “I am very pleased to be nominated as mayor of Islington, I feel it is such a great honour.

“As a councillor, I felt the biggest problem facing the borough was housing. But as mayor I really want to promote the idea of a united Islington.

“There are so many different people and nationalities and countries represented here. It is so multicultural, that is a great thing and I want to focus on that.”

Cllr Chowbury said his childhood in Bangladesh highlighted some of the positive aspects of this country.

“The UK has been a democracy for hundreds of years, but when I was a student in Bangladesh we were under military rule.

“It was undemocratic and there was no free press or anything like that.

“As a student it was vital to revolt against the military.”

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