Councillor Abid Latif Chohan
Councillor Abid Latif Chohan was born in a remote village in the Jhelum district in Pakistan’s Punjab province.
Abid has lived in Manchester with his wife, Azra, since August 1998.
Within two weeks of arriving in the UK, Abid started his first job as a paralegal in a law firm, having previously undertaken legal training in Pakistan; he attained a Bachelor of Laws qualification.
A career in law appealed to Abid, as it would give him the opportunity to help others, as it had done in Pakistan. He studied for a diploma in Immigration Law at Oldham College and then went on to pass a Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test in 2006 - a regulatory exam for foreign licensed attorneys who want to practise in England and Wales.
Abid has worked as a solicitor since 2007 and specialises in immigration and civil litigation law. In 2015, Abid set up his own law firm, AG Solicitors, where he is a Director.
As a human rights lawyer and activist, Abid has often spoken out against human rights violations around the globe. In the past 20 years, he has also continued to provide legal services on a pro bono basis to those needing help but who cannot afford to pay professional fees.
Abid is the founder and Chair of the British Pakistani Cultural Association, which aims to promote Pakistani heritage and culture in the UK. He supports a number of charities and, as an active trade unionist, has previously chaired the Manchester and Oldham East branch of Unite.
In 2004, Abid was elected as a Manchester City Councillor representing its Longsight ward. He has served as Lead Member for Race and Equality and has sat on a number of scrutiny committees including Children and Young People, Communities, Neighbourhoods and Environment, and the Planning and Highways Committee. He has also sat on the Licensing and Appeals Committee for several years and served as Deputy Chair for four years.
A significant number of children in Manchester are growing up in families that live in poverty. Abid is committed to developing a fairer and more inclusive city for all and, during his year of office, is keen to raise awareness of the issue of child poverty.
Abid is married to Azra Abid Chohan and they have two grown up children, Asim and Aisha, who were born, raised and still live in Manchester.
Azra will support him as Lady Mayoress for the first six months of his term. His daughter, Aisha, will support him as Lady Mayoress for the second half of his term.
The Lady Mayoress
Azra Abid Chohan was born and raised in Manchester.
She attended Levenshulme High School for Girls in Manchester.
After completing her education, Azra went to Pakistan where she married Abid.
A few years after becoming a mum to their two children, Azra decided to go back into education and completed an NVQ level 2 in Childcare and Education and then worked in Manchester as a nursery assistant.
She then went on to work at a law firm in Manchester for two years as a receptionist and paralegal, but her passion lay within the beauty industry. Azra had developed an interest in beauty at a young age and decided to go on to study beauty therapy and make-up artistry at The Beauty Academy where she completed a diploma level 2/3. She then went to work at a well-established salon in Manchester where she soon progressed to a senior therapist role.
Azra is now a self-employed beautician.
After being inspired to get involved in charity work, Azra is helping homeless families and orphans in Pakistan, often sending donations for food and clothing.
Deputy Lord Mayor
The Deputy Lord Mayor is Councillor Tommy Judge.