04 May 2008
The Muslim Council of Britain congratulates Boris Johnson for his election victory as Mayor of London. Mr Johnson takes over as Mayor from Mr Ken Livingstone, who led the city for the past eight years.
Paying tribute to Mr Livingstone, Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, said, “By all accounts, Ken Livingstone has once again put London on the map. It has become a great world city and he has done so by recognising and harnessing the dynamism of its cosmopolitan and multi-racial population.” Writing to Mr Livingstone, Dr Bari said: London’s Muslims will not forget your staunch and unflinching support…you stood by us when slings and arrows were thrown our way by those who seek to divide us.”
In a letter to Boris Johnson, Dr Bari praised the Mayoral incumbent for his gracious victory speech and said ” I hope you will agree with me that with the city’s generous heart, coupled by its multi-racial dynamism, we can overcome those divisions and take the city to even greater levels of greatness. Your predecessor recognised this, and aside from the controversies, did much to ensure that Muslims were part-and-parcel of London life.”
During the election campaign, the Muslim Council of Britain initiated a series of campaigns to encourage voter participation and to raise awareness against the far right. It is disappointed that, despite an effort that involved an alliance across faiths and parties, the London Assembly now includes a member of the far right. Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari said “it is time for us to reflect on how, in this day and age, divisive and hateful parties can get a foothold in such an important institution. We must redouble our joint efforts to avert their influence or impact.”[ENDS]
Notes to Editors:
The Muslim Council of Britain is the UK’s largest Muslim umbrella body with around 500 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.
Media enquiries should be addressed to the MCB Media Office on 0845 26 26 786 or 07956 353 738. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This press release and other MCB publications and information are available on the MCB website at www.mcb.org.uk