‘Be a Councillor’ event held in Tooting to Boost Muslim Representation

A star line-up of speakers gathered in Tooting on the evening of Thursday 12 November to talk to local residents about their experience of being a councillor and local campaigning. The event was organised by Dan Watkins, Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman for Tooting, and supported by local mosques and the CMF, to encourage greater involvement of the Muslim community in local politics.

The event was held at Mushkil Aasaan’s community hall and was open to all, with 50 people attending. A local welcome was given by Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Chair of the Balham Mosque and Tooting Islamic Centre.

The speakers are photographed above, from left to right:

  1. Abdul Latif, Merton Councillor,
  2. Rt Hon Justine Greening MP, Secretary of State for International Development,
  3. Dan Watkins, Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman for Tooting,
  4. Zac Goldsmith MP, Conservative Candidate for London Mayor,
  5. Hasina Momtaz, broadcaster and campaigner, and
  6. Former Councillor Rabia Bhatti, Chair of CMF Women.

Dan says:

‘I’ve worked closely with the Tooting Islamic community in recent years and know there is a deep pool of talent amongst the congregations of our local mosques. I’m delighted we had such a good turn-out at the event and have subsequently had several people come forward expressing a desire to get involved with local projects and campaigns.’

‘This meeting is just a start and I plan to run future events which bring together our diverse communities, through volunteering projects which improve our area and speaker events which focus on other important topics. The more time people of different backgrounds spend together, the more we realise how much we have in common, and the more we can achieve by working together in partnership.’

Ahmed Elmi, a Tooting resident, said:

‘It was informative and inspiring to hear views from so many high profile speakers, including two Muslim councillors, and the work they did and the local improvements they achieved for all of their constituents.’

In the group photo below from left to right are:

  1. Ash Zaman, CMF Deputy Chairman
  2. Mike Mogul, CMF Executive Member
  3. Mohamed Zaman (no relation to Ash Zaman!) who has a voluntary involvement with the Muslim Council of Britain
  4. Sir Iqbal Sacranie
  5. Dan Watkins
  6. Cllr Latif
  7. Maksud Gangat, Director of Education at the local muslim schools, Gatton and Al Risalah

Below left to right are:

  1. Mike Mogul
  2. Justine Greening
  3. Rabia Bhatti

The event received a nice write-up in the Wandsworth Guardian.

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The Conservative Muslim Forum was founded by Lord Sheikh in 2005. All of its members are full members of the Conservative Party.