Councillor Suleman Khonat J.P.
Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council 2022/2023
Suleman Khonat was born and raised in Malawi, Africa. He came to England in 1976 after his father passed away. He settled and began creating roots in Blackburn, this has been a source of pleasure for him, and he has remained here ever since.
Suleman is a widower, a proud father of five children and has ten grandchildren. He absolutely loves spending time with all of them, he looks forward to spending as much time as possible especially after the events of the last few years.
Swiftly after arriving in the late 70s, Suleman worked as a Weaver at Witton Mill, the Textile Industry in Blackburn. Thereafter he worked as a Bus Conductor, with a few other local jobs, before becoming a successful Newsagents owner.
Suleman was elected as the National President for National Federation of Retail Newsagents, an organisation for independent retailers in 2009/2010, supporting local and national retailers to ensure each business was supported and thrived, contributing to their local community at a time when local shops were struggling.
Suleman was first elected as a Councillor in 2004, for the Shear Brow Ward (now known as the Shear Brow and Corporation Park Ward, in Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council). He has competently served the constituents during his tenure, serving several Committees including the Vice Chair for Planning and Highways, the Licencing Committee and Chairing the Scrutiny Committee.
Suleman continues to serve as a Local Magistrate, since starting in 2001. He understands the importance of this position and feels particularly proud of this service to the community.
Education has always been of importance to Suleman, where as a Governor, he has lent his knowledge and wisdom to the very successful, Tauheedul Islamic Girls High School since the start of its inception many years ago.
Suleman’s more recent pivotal role has been volunteering for East Lancs Hospice, a cause close to his heart, one he is extremely passionate about. Along with raising awareness of the services throughout East Lancashire, he has highlighted how the Hospice can individually support families and the entire community. He has raised funds in excess of £250,000 through his commitment and dedication to this worthy cause.
Suleman is passionate about supporting charities locally, nationally, and internationally too.
Suleman is honoured, humbled and proud to serve as The Mayor for Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and he is very much looking forward to a positive and successful year ahead.