Nottingham City Council formally elects new leader

Neghat Khan and Ethan Radford

Councillor Neghat Khan has officially been elected leader of Nottingham City Council.

The leader of the Labour Group on the councillor was voted through at a full council meeting on Monday evening (May 20).

She was the subject of a late challenge from the Nottingham Independents and Independent Group who put forward councillor Andrew Rule as leader, but the move, unsurprisingly given the huge Labour majority on the city council, failed.

Neghat Khan, who represents the Dales ward on the council, was chosen by the NEC to lead the troubled council, which is currently under the control of Government Commissioners after being declared effectively bankrupt.

Councillor Ethan Radford has been chosen as deputy leader.

Khan and Councillor Ethan Radford are the youngest team to hold the top two council positions in Nottingham.

Councillor Khan is the first woman of colour to be leader and only the second woman to hold the role.

Councillor Radford has served as a councillor for Bulwell since 2019 and has worked with the Executive group of councillors for the last two years.

They replace councillors David Mellen and Audra Wynter who have been leader and deputy leader since 2019 and 2023 respectively.

Councillor Khan, who has been a city councillor for 10 years, said: “I’m proud to serve as leader of the Council. I am ambitious for Nottingham, where I was born and grew up. I care about the people who live, work and study here and I want only the best for our neighbourhoods and communities.

“Nottingham is a diverse city and it now has its first British-Asian leader. I hope that young women and young people of colour from Nottingham, like my son who is 12, see that there should be no barrier to their ambitions and aspirations.

“It is no secret that Nottingham faces significant challenges, but I have never shied away from a difficult situation. I will work with senior officers and Government Commissioners to drive forward the changes needed to continue the council’s improvement journey. The people of Nottingham deserve nothing less.

“Money remains tight, and we know that further difficult decisions will be needed. However, I believe that cuts to our funding does not mean we can’t afford to be ambitious; it means we can’t afford not to be. What Nottingham needs now more than ever is politicians ready to rise to the challenge facing us, setting a renewed vision for our city, and achieving the promises we made when we were given a clear mandate from the public at the last local election.

“I would like to pay tribute to councillors David Mellen and Audra Wynter for their hard work and dedication as the previous leader and deputy leader. They have helped to lay the foundation for significant changes and improvements in Nottingham – not least their work to secure the devolution deal that will now see us working closely alongside the Mayor of the East Midlands, Claire Ward, to fight for a fairer share of funding for
the city.

“I’m clear that our council cannot work in isolation. I want to work with partners, businesses and the voluntary sector to give Nottingham a fresh start.”

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