Sheffield reveals what it REALLY thinks about its new Lord Mayor - and opinion is mixed

Magid Magid
Magid Magid

Sheffield's Magid Magid has shot to fame this month after being sworn in as the new Lord Mayor.

His unofficial political photo-shoot went viral after being pictured crouching on top of a newel post in a white jacket and Dr Martens.

Magid Magid - Chris Saunders

Magid Magid - Chris Saunders

Another picture shows him standing outside Park Hill flats in his mayoral chains over a leather jacket and sporting a backward yellow baseball cap.

While his appointment and photo-shoots have captured the nation's imagination, reaction in Sheffield has been largely mixed.

Many have welcomed his unique and stylish approach to the photo-shoot, describing it as an 'exciting opportunity for a city with a truly independent spirit'.

Catherine M Davison said: “Sheffield’s Lord Mayors have certainly not all been old people of white descent.

Magid Magid

Magid Magid

“We have had Muslims, someone of Carribbean descent, and of course, very many women. It’s true that they have done ‘the same’ - that is, visiting, honouring and raising the profile of all the citizens of Sheffield, but these citizens came from every walk of life and every community-- hardly ‘the same type of people’.

“You may not have noticed how much money Lord Mayors have raised for charity over the years or how they have personally sponsored and donated trophies to various groups and organisations in Sheffield.

“The youngest Lord Mayor was actually 47 but many others have shown that they are active and adventurous.

“You can’t do over 1000 engagements and take part in bike rides, ice skating, dancing, abseiling, climbing fire ladders, mountain rescues, fire walking and jumping out of an aeroplane, for example, unless you are young at heart.

Magid Magid

Magid Magid

“So, welcome to Magid Magid as the next Lord Mayor. I wish him every success and am sure he will keep up the good work.”

Meanwhile, Christine Sexton said: “Well done Magid - really looking forward to what you’ll do as our Lord Mayor.

“Best of luck. And don’t forget - Illegitimi non carborundum.”

Tim Kiely added: “28-year-old Somalia-born Green councillor becomes city’s youngest ever Lord Mayor.

“So much to love about that... go get ‘em Magid and well done to the Green members and voters of Sheffield!”

Claire Murray said: “In Sheffield we’re proud of doing things differently and of celebrating our differences.

“Yes! An exciting appointment for a city with a truly independent spirit.”

And Safiya Saeed added: “Magid is a real firecracker, shake and shape Sheffield for us.

“I am excited to call you family and a mentor.”

However, others have accused him of lacking respect with his clothing choices while others said the Lord Mayor should only be a 'person of white English descent'.

Christine Langham said: "Congratulations to Sheffield’s new lord mayor Councillor Magid Magid. It is good to have a new, young person to bring fresh ideas and enthusiasm to the role.

"However, I ask Mr Magid to calm down and take a step back for a moment. Many of the things to do with the way councils and parliament work should to be brought up to date but please do not try to change our Monarchy, culture and heritage.

"Millions of oversea visitors come here to see the pageantry associated with our Monarchy and I ask you as an immigrant to respect this, not start saying that you would like a head of state and show disrespect for the Queen."As for bringing entertainment to council meetings during the break, this just shows that you are not taking the role seriously. The same applies to your dress code."

Cyril Olsen said: "In a city which is proud of its reputation for welcoming newcomers, and for its wish to have integration throughout the community, I am disappointed that Magid has seen fit to tell everyone that he is a black Muslim immigrant and that “in Sheffield we are proud of doing things differently and celebrating our differences.”

"I feel sure that his party and colleagues on Sheffield City Council, accepted his appointment based on him as a person, together with the work he has done as a Councillor for his constituency and the community as a whole - and not on his race and religion.

"As Sheffield’s first citizen and acting as a city figurehead, while he may have his own ideas of how to adapt to this role, I feel that he should not turn his back on tradition as a whole during his term of office.

"While he is entitled to believe in an elected head of state, as our Lord Mayor, he should also as an immigrant to this country, acknowledge our established traditions when toasting the Queen."

Susan Richardson said: "If Magid Magid’s intention as Lord Mayor is to do his best for Sheffield he needs to understand that he must represent ALL its citizens, not just ethnic minorities.

"He also needs to respect our customs and, if he is uncomfortable with what he refers to as our ‘outdated’ traditions and monarchy, then there are other countries with elected heads of state which may suit him far better."

Brenda Titterton said: "Interesting to read that Sheffield’s new Lord Mayor is a Somali born Muslim. It’s an insult to the people of Sheffield but not surprising as the ‘city of sanctuary’.

"There must be many Sheffield born people who are worthy of being the Mayor. What has Sheffield finally come to? We are really glad we left Sheffield nearly six years ago.

"Going into town you were the one who felt like the immigrant as everyone around you spoke another language."

Paul Wake said: "I honestly believe Magid represents everything that is going wrong with our once great city and country.

"I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that such an esteemed role such as the Lord Mayor (first citizen) of Sheffield should only be reserved to a person of white English descent and especially not to a moslem immigrant, because that is our tradition and culture which is unfortunately slowly being eradicated."

In response to the comments, Magid Magid said: “The past couple of days have honestly been overwhelming to say the least.

“I have been inundated with heartfelt kind messages of love and hope from all over the world that just fills me with such gratitude. And the fact that the media and people from across the globe have been talking about Sheffield in such a positive light fills me with pride.

“However it hasn’t gone unnoticed that I have also sadly received messages and comments filled with nothing but hate and racism.

“Believe it or not but I’m not here to cause trouble like one of these letters states, neither am I here to change the world. I am here to champion and celebrate all that is great about our city while bringing my own flavour to the role with the hope of engaging with a wider audience.

“In that process if someone that I engage with, shake hands with or just share stories with happens to change our lives for the better, and if I can play any part of sparking that, it’ll be a job well done.

“You may not like it but I am who I am because of this city. I have achieved what I have achieved because of this city and I am only Lord Mayor because the people of this city (our city) have chosen me as their Lord Mayor.

“I’m merely a reflection of this great city which for the vast majority thankfully doesn’t agree with you and is proud to do things differently. Me becoming Lord Mayor is as much of a celebration about the people of Sheffield as it is about me, as if it hadn’t been for the love, the compassion and the courage this city showed me, this story would have not been told. Thank you Sheffield! =] x”