Oldham’s first openly gay council leader has been formally appointed by councillors. Councillor Amanda Chadderton takes on the top role at the local authority after former leader Arooj Shah – the first Muslim woman in the north of England to head up a council – lost her seat in the May 5 elections.
She paid tribute to Ms Shah at the annual meeting of the council on Wednesday saying she lost her seat following a ‘personalised abusive campaign’.
Coun Chadderton becomes Oldham’s third Labour leader in as many years, after Sean Fielding was also defeated at the ballot box in 2021.
The Royton South councillor, who has been an elected member for ten years, told the meeting she would not hide her sexual orientation and said they should champion diversity in top roles. READ MORE:'Bonus’ to ‘absolutely disgraceful’: Voter's react to independents councillor defecting to Labour less than a month after elections “It’s the absolute honour of my life to stand here today as leader of Oldham council,” she said. “I’m also proud to stand here today as the first openly gay leader of Oldham council. “Whilst I can already see how some people are beginning to use this fact as a means to sow hatred I won’t be forced to hide who I am.