Proud Pendle Labour stalwart receives MBE at Windsor Castle
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Following in the footsteps of luminaries from all walks of life, and treading on centuries-old stones, Coun. Mohammed Iqbal received his MBE at Windsor Castle this week in the company of his proud wife Naheed Akhtar, their four children, daughter-in-law and his mother.
Announced last October in the Queen's Birthday Honours, Coun. Iqbal's MBE was awarded in recognition of his services to local government.
A former leader and Mayor of Pendle, Coun.Iqbal has served the Bradley ward as a Labour councillor for 22 years, as well as 11 years on Lancashire County Council.
He said: "It was very nerve-wracking at first walking into Windsor Castle, but Princess Anne put me at ease. I chatted to her briefly about the beautiful countryside we have in Pendle.
"Windsor Castle was such a beautiful and historic setting to receive my MBE.
"I want to dedicate this special day to my beloved parents, and especially my father who is sadly not with us to witness this day. He died the year I was Mayor and he would have been proud to see me receive my MBE.
"I am eternally grateful to all those wonderful family members and friends who have supported me during my lifetime
"Please pray I continue to serve the community to the best of my ability."
Not content with seeing one historical site, Coun. Iqbal's family then treated him to a surprise trip, straight from London to Istanbul from where he chatted to Leader Times about his award while queuing to visit the impressive Blue Mosque in the ancient city.
He added: "I thought we would be spending a few days in London but I was whisked straight to London Stansted Airport for a flight to Istanbul. It has been an unforgettable few days."