Meet Luton’s new mayor Sameera Saleem

She takes over the role from Mahmood Hussain

By Euan Duncan, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 19th May 2022, 11:30 am

A former deputy mayor of Luton has been chosen to be the town’s mayor for 2022/23 by the ruling Labour group.

Labour Leagrave councillor Sameera Saleem is taking over the role from party colleague and Farley councillor Mahmood Hussain.

Her appointment was uncontested at the local authority’s annual meeting in the town hall on Tuesday, May 17.

Luton's new mayor Sameera Saleem (right) and deputy Asif Masood

The selection of Labour Icknield councillor Asif Masood as her deputy proved controversial, with councillors exchanging opposing views along political lines.

Labour Dallow councillor Raja Ahmed nominated councillor Masood as deputy mayor, describing him as “hard-working, courteous and passionate about tackling social injustice and inequality, and helping the most vulnerable people in society”.

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Council leader and Labour Lewsey councillor Hazel Simmons told the meeting: “It gives me great pleasure to nominate councillor Sumeera Saleem to be our mayor for the forthcoming municipal year.

“Sumeera has been with the council since May 2015 and has been deputy mayor already,” said councillor Simmons.

She chairs LBC’s standards committee and will make a fantastic ambassador for the town. I’m proud to be nominating her this evening.”

Councillor Saleem signed a formal declaration of acceptance of the mayoral office. She was previously deputy mayor during her first year as a councillor.

In a social media post, LBC tweeted: “A huge thanks to councillor Mahmood Hussain for his service to the town, as he steps down as mayor this evening.”

A special meeting of the council will be held at the town hall for the mayor making ceremony on Tuesday, June 14.