Afzal was brought up in Lancashire after coming to the UK aged 11. He left school with no qualifications and worked as a labourer in a mill before returning to education. He then spent three years as a police officer with Greater Manchester Police before going on to study law and qualifying as a solicitor. He is currently a senior partner at Mellor Jackson solicitors in Oldham.
Afzal has always been actively involved in his community, as a school and university governor; a trustee of several charities including the British Red Cross and City in the Community; and through many other organisations such as interfaith forums.
He has been a councillor since 2000, holding several senior positions on Manchester city council, including lead member for racial equality and assistant executive member for finance. In 2005, Afzal became Manchester’s youngest, and first Asian, Lord Mayor, and was awarded ‘Mayor of the Year’ by the Co-operative Bank. He was also awarded a CBE in 2008 for services to community and interfaith relations and to local government, and was recently the executive member for children’s services. Outside of the council he has also acted as an adviser to the Home Office, Foreign Office, NHS and the Department of Trade and Industry.
Afzal has served both his community and the Labour Party at many different levels. He believes he has the experience, leadership skills and genuine Labour values needed to be a valuable part of Labour’s team in Europe for the North West.
Subcommittee on Security and Defence
Committee on Foreign Affairs
Committee on Budgets (Substitute)
Accountant's letter of certification regarding expenses and allowances