Muslim mayor of Keighley apologises and resigns after raising LGBTQ flag

Cllr Mohammed Nazam (l). Pic: Facebook

The Muslim Tory mayor of Keighley in West Yorkshire, Cllr Mohammed Nazam, has apologised to Muslims and resigned after taking part in an LGBTQ Pride flag-raising ceremony.

Cllr Nazam was suspended by the Conservative group on Bradford Council once his comments came to light and later announced he would quit as mayor.

He said: “In relation to media reports about my suspension from the Conservative Party, I had already resigned from the Conservative Party and as a Keighley Town Mayor with immediate effect.

“A few days ago I attended the flag raising for LGBTQ community. This did not conform to my religious beliefs and hence I offered an apology to my constituents.

“By my apology I did not mean any harm to any member of my constituency. 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 for everyone. I will always do my upmost to work for all members of my constituency.

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“This has been a truly humbling experience from which I have learnt a great deal, I would also like to thank everyone for their love and continued support.”

Following Mohammed Nazam’s resignation Keighley Town Council issued the following statement:  ·

“This afternoon Cllr Mohammed Nazam has resigned as Town Mayor with immediate effect. The Town Council will meet in due to course to elect a new Mayor for the remainder of the Municipal year.

“The Town Council has a long record of supporting and celebrating all sections of the amazingly diverse Keighley community. The Pride flag will continue to fly proudly in the Town Hall Square for the remainder of Pride Month as planned.

“As a Council we recognise the hard work of organisations, such as, Keighley Pride undertake to celebrate PRIDE annually and raise awareness of the challenges faced by many in the LGBTQ community. The Council will continue to do whatever it can to support similar groups and the wider LGBTQ community.”

Meanwhile, local MP Robbie Moore said: “On Friday, I was exceptionally proud to join the Keighley Pride team for the raising of the Pride flag in Keighley’s Town Hall Square.

“Everyone should be free to love who they choose and be who they are. Love is Love.

“I’ve seen comments made by Keighley’s Town Mayor, Cllr Mohammed Nazam, stating that he feels the need to apologise for his part in the flag raising ceremony and the need for him to “personally repent for ‘his’ error” because of religious beliefs. I disagree and reject the Mayor’s comments.

“I am proud we live in a country where people can be who they want to be and are free to choose who they love. 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. An employment disciplinary process will also now follow. We have a fantastic community across Keighley which I will always stand up for. As your Member of Parliament I will ensure everyone is represented.”

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