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Burnley's youngster Mayor takes office

Release date: 
Thursday, 28 May, 2020

Councillor Wajid and Mrs Anam Khan have taken office as Mayor and Mayoress of Burnley 2020/21.

Coun. Khan is the borough's youngster Mayor and pledged to create a "Mayor's Medal" to recognise and honour local individuals and organisations who have gone above and beyond the call of duty during the coronavirus epidemic, and after it is over.

He was also the first Mayor to be appointed via a "virtual" online Mayor-making ceremony to meet social distancing guidelines.

Coun. Khan was born In Burnley and has lived in the town all his life. He is married to Anam and the couple have two young children. 

He attended Heasandford Primary School and Habergham High School where he took his A levels and where he tasted his first experience of politics as he was elected student councillor.

In 2002, he graduated in Law from UCLan. He then worked in the voluntary sector with young offenders, gaining qualifications in advice and guidance as well as mentoring, and teaching homeless young people numeracy and literacy.

In 2004, he completed a Masters in European Law. During this, inspired by the disturbances in Burnley in 2001, he initiated several projects involving community cohesion, including the Corrymeela project in Northern Ireland, through which his role gained him a National Cohesion Award in 2004. Whilst studying for his Masters Degree, Wajid himself worked as a taxi driver to fund his postgraduate studies. He was also awarded University Student Volunteer of the year later in 2004.

In October 2005, he lectured in Community Leadership. Wajid co-wrote the BA (Hons) Community Leadership, which was validated in May 2006. In September 2006, he was appointed course leader of this programme. He has presented academic papers across Europe at Volunteurope conferences in Berlin, Strasbourg, Warsaw and Genoa.

In June 2006, he advised the Russian Ministry of Education and Science on developing youth strategies and was invited to the Civil G8 in Moscow where he introduced proposals, which were later discussed at the G8 Summit. In

Later the same year he was appointed to the Executive Board of Directors of Volunteurope where he served until 2013.

He became borough councillor in May 2007 in the Daneshouse & Stoneyholme ward and has held the seat ever since. Coun. Khan served as a executive ember for finance from May 2015 until May 2017. 

He has written on a iwde range of social issues, particularly around community leadership, as well as publications focused on the empowerment of South Asian females in Higher Education. Wajid is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

He currently works as a senior lecturer in Community Leadership and course leads the Masters in Community Leadership degree programme, which he was a key architect in developing.

Coun. Khan served as the MEP for the North West of England from June 2017- July 2019. In the European Parliament, he was a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Human Rights Subcommittee as well as sitting on the South Asia and Arab Peninsula. In November 2017, Wajid was appointed a Special Envoy to Muslim Communities for the S&D Group in the European Parliament. He was the spokesperson for the Labour party on human rights.

In March 2019, Wajid was awarded the highest civilian award by the President of Pakistan (Sitara-i-Qaide Azam) for his work on International human rights.

Wajid was elected on to the Labour National Policy Forum, where he served on the International Policy Commission.

Wajid is also Alumni of the prestigious Oxford Young leadership programme in July 2007 and the 2009 Mosaic International Leadership School, both initiatives of HRH Prince Charles on leadership and community engagement. He has also completed a strategic Leadership programme at Bramshill Police College with the National Police Federation.


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