First black woman to be mayor is first black woman on cabinet

Sabrina Francis promoted to top table as Nash Ali becomes new mayor

Thursday, 26th May — By Richard Osley

camden Image 2022-05-30 at 9.58.35 AM (27)

Sabrina Francis, right, hands over the mayoral chain to Nash Ali last night

THE first black woman to become mayor of Camden has now written a similar chapter in the council’s political history by taking a place on the decision-making cabinet.

Sabrina Francis last night (Wednesday) handed over the mayoral chain to Nash Ali amid praise for her year in the role.

And it was then confirmed at the annual general meeting of the council that she will take on the young people’s brief on the executive. Despite the borough’s diversity, she is the first black woman in Camden to take a seat at the top table for Labour.

Before the recent elections, the party had only ever had three black councillors.

Council leader Georgia Gould told the chamber that Cllr Francis’ time as mayor had been significant because not only had she raised money for the single-parent charity Gingerbread but she had been there for changes after the racial injustice protests – delivering speeches as Cecil Rhodes House had the imperialist’s name removed and whenBeckford Primary School was renamed to disassociate it from a slave-using trader.

“She’s spoken with great power about racial inequality in our community,” said Cllr Gould.
“She was truly the voice we needed.”

Cllr Ali will raise money for the Hopscotch charity during his second term as mayor – the first one came 19 years ago – and was last night outlandishly challenging people to complete a skydive amid a sea of nervous looks.
Nazma Rahman, the West Hampstead councillor, meanwhile was sworn in as the new deputy mayor.

The only other new cabinet level councillor is former chief whip Marcus Boyland who has been given the schools brief following Angela Mason’s decision to step down from the council.

While the benches were filled with a host of new councillors experiencing the mayor-making event for the first time – one seat in the chamber was vacant: new Hampstead Town councillor Adrian Cohen has already decided to step down and there will be a fresh by-election in July.

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