Sunderland's first Asian councillor thanks voters and vows to campaign for residents
Sunderland’s first British Asian city councillor has thanked voters for their support following last week’s local elections.
Usman Ali a local businessman who lives in the Ryhope ward, was elected with 1,411 votes and won the Ryhope seat formerly held by the Labour Party.
He represents one of only two wards in the city which has councillors from three different political parties, with the other one being St Anne’s.
Usman launched his campaign during the Covid-19 pandemic, dealing with residents’ issues via Facebook and delivering food parcels, hampers and other supplies to those in need.
It was also his first time standing for political office, having joined the Conservative Party in 2020.
Reflecting upon his victory, the newly-elected councillor said: ”I’m honoured to have been elected to serve the people of Ryhope ward.
“I look forward to getting to know people across the area and to deliver the change they want to see.
“I was told by members of other parties that I would not get elected.
“Last week, Ryhope residents proved those people wrong by electing me and I am thankful for their support.
“Ryhope ward residents have my loyalty and I will fight hard for them as long as I am their councillor.”
Cllr Ali’s electoral win in Ryhope was one of many successes for the Sunderland Conservatives at the Thursday, May 6, local elections in the city.
Alongside holding several seats, the Conservatives gained seats in the Barnes, St Chad’s, Washington South, St Peter’s and St Anne’s wards, taking their total number on the local authority to 18.
Opposition leader councillor Antony Mullen, who only took over the role last year (2020), hailed a ‘brilliant night’ for his own party.
Speaking last week, Cllr Mullen said: “If this is replicated next year then the Labour Party will have no control over the council.”
The Ryhope ward now has councillors from the Labour Party, UKIP and the Conservative Party across its three seats.
Ryhope election results May 6, 2021
Usman Ali (Conservative Party) – 1,411 votes
Ellen Ball (Labour and Co-operative Party) – 1,230 votes
Marek Filipkowski (UKIP) – 233 votes