The city of Preston in the UK has elected Gujarat-born Yakub Patel as its first Indian-origin Muslim Mayor for 2023-24 following the completion of Councillor Neil Darby's term in office.
In his new role, Patel will chair council meetings, and act as ceremonial head representing the city at engagements throughout their year in office.
"I am honoured and delighted to become the Mayor of Preston, a city I am proud to call my home. I hope to make positive differences to the communities that I serve and also provide additional support through my Mayoral charities for the coming year," Patel said.
Prior to his new role, Patel has been serving as the city's Deputy Mayor since May 2022.
The long serving councillor has been undertaking civic duties and hosted the visit of the Royal Family in summer alongside the then Mayor.
"...It gives me great pleasure to be handing over the chains of office to the Mayor-elect, Councillor Yakub Patel. The last year has been the most outstanding experience of my life and it has been a huge honour to have been the Mayor of our fabulous city," Preston's outgoing Mayor Darby wrote in a tweet.
Born in Bharuch, Gujarat, Patel graduated from M S University of Baroda with a degree in BA and MA in English Literature. He came to the UK in June 1976 and started his career in 1979 with Preston Corporation.
Patel also held roles as a Revenue Inspector, Traffic Inspector, Assistant Chief, Chief Inspector and Operations Manager before he retired on July 4, 2009.
He has been involved in politics since the age of 10 when he started canvassing and delivering leaflets for his late father, who was a strong supporter and a member of the Congress party.
He was first elected as a Labour Party councillor for Avenham Ward in 1995 and was the first Muslim councillor in the history of Preston City Council.
In addition, Patel was also elected as a Lancashire County Councillor for Preston West Division during 2001-2009.
The new Mayor is also an active member of the local community and serves as a co-opted member for Preston Jamea Mosque and Preston Muslim Burial Society.
He is a school governor for Frenchwood Community Primary School. Rosemere Cancer, Preston Domestic Violence Services and Emmaus will be Patel's Mayoral Charities for 2023-24.