Sheffield’s new lord mayor Magid Magid, who entered politics to “fight xenophobia”, has declared the British monarchy “outdated” and said he would refuse to toast to the Queen.
“I hope by the fact I am a black, Muslim immigrant – everything the Daily Mail probably hates – people will look and say ‘In Sheffield we’re proud of doing things differently and celebrating our differences’,” he told The Star on Tuesday.
At 28, Magid became the city’s youngest ever lord mayor when he took on the ceremonial role on Wednesday, having moved to Sheffield from Somalia with his family when he was five years old to “look for a better life”.
— SheffieldCityCouncil (@SheffCouncil) May 16, 2018
Speaking of his role as Sheffield’s first citizen, which according to convention involves acting as a figurehead, meeting with important guests, and attending high-profile functions, Magid said he hopes to appoint rapper Otis Mensah as the city’s first poet laureate.
Describing the position of lord mayor “quite archaic”, however, the former Hull university student said he would like to “bring it into the 21st century”, asserting that “minority ethnic groups are doing amazing things in this city”.
Breaking away from tradition at his mayor-making ceremony, Magid had the Imperial March from Star Wars and then the Superman theme tune play as guests took to their seats, according to The Star.
Remarking on a state visit to Sheffield by the monarch in 2015, he said: “I believe we should have an elected head of state. I love the Queen, she’s hard-working and a lovely person – but the system is outdated.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 13, 2015
“I wouldn’t even do a toast to the Queen. I can’t please everyone. I will stick to my own principles.”
Magid, who used his maiden speech as a Green councillor in 2016 to blast Brexit and “xenophobia”, said he has been following news reports about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party with interest.
“But at the same time”, he argued that the Conservative Party — which introduced gay marriage and ordered schools to promote LGBT lifestyles to toddlers — “has a massive issue with homophobia, and that’s not being covered”.