The 'people's man' begins new role as councillor
WESTMINSTER Tories have another soldier to add to the ranks after their Church Street candidate beat all the odds to be elected in one of Labour s safest seats. Mehfuz Ahmed romped to victory in the by-election last week beating Labour s candidate, form
WESTMINSTER'S Tories have another soldier to add to the ranks after their Church Street candidate beat all the odds to be elected in one of Labour's safest seats.
Mehfuz Ahmed romped to victory in the by-election last week beating Labour's candidate, former Blur drummer Dave Rowntree, and Martin Thompson for the Liberal Democrats.
Mr Ahmed gained 955 votes, Mr Rowntree 652 and Mr Thompson 176 on a 24 per cent turnout.
The winning candidate said: "I am absolutely delighted - it is a fantastic result. I was fairly optimistic because I am a local guy - I have lived here for 30 years and even though I just moved to Brent my friends and family are all here.
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"Campaigning definitely helped me get elected and I managed to get through to a lot of the residents.
"It was a safe Labour seat but when we were campaigning I thought we had a chance because a lot of locals were unhappy with the Labour councillors.
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"It is obviously to do with what is going on nationally but also because of local issues that I won a safe Labour seat for the first time since it was created in the 60s.
"But I am a people's man and I have helped many people over the time I have lived here, so I am delighted."
Mr Ahmed, 35, grew up on the Lisson Green estate and attended Gateway primary school and the former North Westminster Community School.
He works for Age Concern on Edgware Road and lives in Dollis Hill with his wife and two children.
He is a board member of the London Tigers, the Marylebone Bangladeshi Association, the Greenside community centre and the Westminster Arts Board.
"Ever since I have been at school I have been involved in community work - and with a lot of organisations so a lot of people know me," he said.
"And I wanted to take it to the next step and become a councillor. I am just delighted to be elected and look forward to serving the residents I grew up with and solving their problems.
"I am in politics to help people. I have spent all my life doing community work and now I hope to serve the residents at a higher level.
"I will be working with every single organisation that exists in Church Street and all the residents. I also want to get local businesses involved in the area.
"I am delighted to have been elected and I am approachable to any resident - if they see me in the street they can come up and talk."
Mr Mehfuz will be working alongside two Labour councillors - Barbara Grahame and Aziz Toki. "I am looking forward to working with the two Labour councillors, although I think it will be a challenge," he added.
"Personally, I do not think it should be a problem - we are all elected to serve the residents and that is what we should be doing.
"The Conservatives are running a fantastic borough and I was the best person locally so I am very pleased.