Merton councillor given life peerage in religious first for Lords
A Merton councillor and Wimbledon Park resident has been appointed as a member of the House of Lords, the Prime Minister announced this afternoon.
Councillor Tariq Ahmad, a vice-chairman of the Conservative Party, is also the first member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association (AMA) to receive a peerage, having served as the association’s national vice-president since 2003.
Coun Ahmad – or Lord Ahmad as he will become known – was appointed in 2008 as David Cameron’s vice-chairman for Cities and was lauded for his wealth of experience as a businessman and his roles in the voluntary sector.
A spokesman for the AMA said: “Tariq is a great ambassador for the whole community and hopefully he will continue to serve all for the good of our entire community.”
A spokesman for Merton Conservatives said there have been no discussions yet about whether Coun Ahmad would continue as a councillor or give up his seat.
Debbie Shears, leader of Merton’s Conservative opposition group, said: “I was extremely pleased to learn that Her Majesty The Queen has agreed to confer a life peerage on Tariq.
“He is a very well respected colleague and member of Merton Council and this honour is thoroughly deserved.
“I have no doubt he will work tirelessly in the House of Lords for the good of our country.
“On behalf of all Conservative councillors here in Merton, I offer my heartfelt congratulations to Tariq and his family.”http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk