Nasim Ali
নাসিম আলী
Nasim ali.jpg
Leader of Camden London Borough Council
In office
26 May 2010 – 9 May 2012
DeputyAngela Mason (2010–2011)
Sue Vincent (2011–2012)
Preceded byKeith Moffitt
Succeeded bySarah Hayward
Labour Group Leader on Camden London Borough Council
In office
12 May 2009 – 10 May 2012
DeputyJonathan Simpson (2009–2010)
Angela Mason (2010–2011)
Sue Vincent (2011–2012)
Preceded byAnna Stewart
Succeeded bySarah Hayward
Mayor of Camden
In office
14 May 2003 – 13 May 2004
DeputyHarriet Garland
Preceded byJudith Pattison
Succeeded byHarriet Garland
Camden London Borough Councillor
for Regent's Park
Assumed office
2 May 2002
Preceded byJames Turner
Personal details
Born (1969-02-07) 7 February 1969 (age 53)
Islampur, Shah Paran Thana, Sylhet, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh)
NationalityBritish
Political partyLabour
Spouses
Amanda
(m. 2003, divorced)
  • Lina Choudhury[1]
Children3
Residence(s)Haverstock, Kentish Town, Camden, London, England
Alma materUniversity of Kent
OccupationExecutive Director
ProfessionPolitician

Nasim "Nash" Ali, OBE (Bengali: নাসিম আলী; born 7 February 1969) is a British Labour Party politician, councillor for Regent's Park, former Cabinet Member for Young People in Camden Council and former Mayor of Camden. In May 2003, at the age of 34, after being elected Mayor of Camden, he became the UK's youngest mayor, as well as the first Bangladeshi and first Muslim mayor.

Early life

Ali was born in Islampur, Shah Paran Thana, Sylhet District, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and came to the United Kingdom at the age of seven in 1976. He grew up on the Regent's Park Estate. He attended Netley Primary School and South Camden Community School, he left with one O-level in Art.[2]

In 2001, Ali graduated with a BA in Informal and Community Education by distance learning from the University of Kent.[3]

Ali's elder brother, Sitar, is treasurer of the Bengali Workers' Association.[2]

Early career

In November 1984, Ali took his family to join the "occupation" of the Town Hall following the death of a Bangladeshi family in a bed-and-breakfast hotel in Westminster. Five years later, he worked with Camden Law Centre to establish Camden Monitoring Project to provide safe transport for Bangladeshi men being attacked by skinheads on their way home from work. At the time, his father was working as a chef and his younger brother owned a pizza shop.[2]

Since the 1980s, Ali has been active in the Regent's Park Estate local community.[4] Since the age of 14, he has been involved in voluntary work.[5] In 1989, he established the Camden Monitoring Group to combat racial harassment.[4] In the same year, he was seconded from Camden Youth Service to become a part-time volunteer for the community and social welfare charity Bengali Workers' Association.[5] Also that year, he enrolled onto Kingway College (now known as Westminster Kingsway College) and obtained B grades in both GCSE English language and mathematics.

In August 1994, he established Camden United Project[2] to unite conflicting[5][6] young people from white and Asian communities together in the borough,[7] through their common interest in football, diverting them away from racism, crime and conflict.[2]

While working as an assistant in a clothes shop in Kentish Town, Ali's manager advised him to better himself. Ali moved on to work for British Telecom, which is where he acquired his nickname "Nash".[2] In 1995, he left British Telecom and joined King's Cross Brunswick Neighbourhood Association as a trainee youth worker. Ali acquired his distance-learning degree from the YMCA George Williams College while working full-time.[2]

Political career

Since May 1993, Ali has been a Labour Party member.[8] After his elder brother, Sitar, encouraged him to stand for the council,[2] in May 2002, in the Camden London Borough Council election, he was elected councillor for the Regent's Park ward. In May 2003,[2] at the age of 34,[9] Ali became Mayor of Camden[4] and the youngest mayor in the country,[2] as well as the UK's first Bangladeshi and first Muslim mayor.[9] He was succeeded by being Harriet Garland the following year.[10] In May 2004, he became Executive Member for Community Engagement. Ali was also the first Bangladeshi Executive Member and the first Bangladeshi Leader of the Labour Group and Camden Council.

In 1995, he joined the King's Cross Brunswick Neighbourhood Association charity[5] and has been Executive Director since January 2001. Since 2002, he been councillor for Regent's Park ward, with a focus on diverting young people away from crime and conflict.[9]

Ali was leader of the Labour Group between 2009 and 2012.[4] In May 2009, he was selected to lead the party in the 2010 local elections, becoming Labour's first Muslim leader.[7] In May 2010, he led Labour to victory in the local council elections for Camden Council, defeating the borough's Liberal Democrats/Conservative coalition.[9][11] Ali became leader of Camden Council from May 2010 until standing down in May 2012.[4]

In March 2012, he announced he would be standing down as leader of Camden Council in May after his regeneration chief, Cllr Sarah Hayward, confirmed she would stand against him for the post at Labour's annual meeting in May.[11][12] In March 2012, he became Cabinet Member for Young People.[4]

In May 2022, Ali became Mayor of Camden for a second time.[1]

Community work

Since 2001, Ali has been the Executive Director of the King's Cross Brunswick Neighbourhood Association. He was also the Chair of the Healthy Families Partnership at King's Cross, Board member of the West Euston Partnership (WEP),[4] Chair of the WEP Planning Working Group[3] and on the executive board of the Community Empowerment Network. He also chaired the Camden Bangladesh Mela Committee.[4]

He was the Cabinet Member for Community Safety following the London bombings on 7 July 2005.[13] He was also an advisor to the Metropolitan Police Service and The Prince's Trust,[3] and a Governor for Westminster Kingsway College.[4] and school governor of South Camden Community School now known as Regent High School from 1998 to 2006 and Netley Primary School from 2006 to 2011.

Ali has worked with the British High Commissioner in Bangladesh to promote the interests of Bangladeshis who live in Camden or who wish to visit the UK. In 2007, Ali arranged a reception for Professor Muhammad Yunus to celebrate his award of the Nobel Peace Prize.[4]

Awards and recognition

In 1998, Ali was awarded one of the first Camden Good Citizen Awards for his work in diverting young people away from crime, drugs and conflict.[5][6] In 2010, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2010 New Year Honours for his services to local government.[9]

Personal life

Since 1984, Ali has lived in Camden.[5] At the time he first served as Mayor of Camden, he was married to Amanda.[14] He lives in Haverstock, London[2] with his wife, and three sons; Rio,[14] Zachariah and Noah.[2] Two of his sons were born in the Royal Free Hospital and one at home.[9] As of May 2022, he is married to Lina Choudhury, who will be his Mayoress during his second term as Mayor of Camden.[1]

Ali is a Muslim[2] and a Liverpool Football Club fan.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "Councillor Nasim Ali OBE is Mayor of Camden". The London Borough of Camden Council. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Latham, Bob (20 May 2010). "LOCAL ELECTIONS 2010: Nasim 'Nash' Ali, from one O-level to council leader - Profile of Labour's top man at the Town Hall". Camden New Journal. Camden. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Karim, Mohammed Abdul; Karim, Shahadoth (October 2011). British Bangladeshi Who's Who (PDF). British Bangla Media Group. p. 24. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Regent's Park". Camden Labour. Retrieved 1 February 2014. Cllr Nasim Ali
  5. ^ a b c d e f Williamson, Dan (25 June 2003). "BIG INTERVIEW: The new-model mayor – Nasim Ali mayor, London Borough of Camden". Children & Young People Now. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Youngest mayor but Tories cry foul". Camden New Journal. Camden. May 2003. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  7. ^ a b Davies, Will (12 May 2009). "First Muslim Labour leader". Kilburn Times. Kilburn. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  8. ^ "Ali to KO Town Hall coalition". Camden: Camden Labour. 8 May 2009. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Ich Bin Kentishtowner: Nasim Ali, Councillor". Kentish Town: Kentishtowner. 27 August 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  10. ^ Osley, Richard (May 2004). "Pact fails to prise mayoral chain from Labour's hold". Camden New Journal. Camden. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  11. ^ a b Ferguson, Kate (14 March 2012). "Camden Council Labour leader Nash Ali quits after challenge against him". Hampstead and Highgate: Hampstead and Highgate Express. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  12. ^ Osley, Richard (13 March 2012). "Council leader Nash Ali resigns after leadership challenge". Camden New Journal. Camden. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  13. ^ Carrier, Dan; Hinton, Josie (6 January 2011). "NEW YEAR HONOURS LIST – Charity workers, actor, shoe designer and councillor among those selected". Camden New Journal. Camden. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  14. ^ a b "Dynamite beats jinx in lighting switch on". Camden New Journal. Camden. December 2003. Archived from the original on 15 March 2004. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
Civic offices Preceded byJudith Pattison Mayor of Camden 14 May 2003 – 13 May 2004 Succeeded byHarriet Garland