The headline-grabbing, baseball cap-wearing mayor who 'banned' Donald Trump from Sheffield will be among the EU election candidates appearing at a cross-party Harrogate event this week.
Organised by pro-Remain group North Yorkshire for Europe, Sheffield Mayor Magid Magid, the Green Party's lead candidate for the European Parliament in Yorkshire and the Humber, is just one of several notable speakers appearing at the Wesley Centre in Harrogate this Wednesday, May 15.
The Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party, Change UK and the Yorkshire party have all agreed to put up prospective MEPs in what promises to be a keenly-contested debate over the region’s future outside – or inside – the EU. UKIP will also be represented.
Sometimes described as "flamboyant", there has been much media attention on ex-refugee Magid Magid, 29, after he became the first Somali, the youngest-ever, and the first Green Party councillor to hold the role of Lord Mayor of Sheffield.
Magid said "There's so much more to the European elections than Brexit. The climate emergency is the defining issue of our generation and the only party to be consistent on this is the Green Party. Our message is really resonating, we've got a better story to tell.
“There are a lot of people who are fed up with the major parties and are looking for a real alternative. Our amazing local election results last week showed that the Green Party are that alternative!"
As well as taking up a raft of progressive policies, he often wears trainers, T-shirts and baseball caps instead of the usual mayoral garb, and uses social media to reach out to younger voters.
Mr Magid has also recruited poets, musicians, magicians and comedians to perform at full council meetings in Sheffield.
The Harrogate debate, which is open to all, will be chaired by an independent academic, Prof John C Adams who chaired a similar cross-party meeting in Harrogate organsied by NYfE in January.
As well as Magid Magid, other confirmed speakers include Diana Wallace, number one candidate for Change UK, Mike Jordan, number two candidate for the Yorkshire Party and Ian Greenberg, chairman of UKIP’s Leeds branch.
The Conservatives and Labour have both said they will put forward candidates.
Organisers say The Brexit party has been invited but there has been no response so far.
The event on Wednesday, May 15, at Harrogate’s historic Wesley Centre, is being staged by North Yorkshire for Europe.
North Yorkshire for Europe was formed in April, 2018, to campaign for a People’s Vote on the Government’s Brexit deal, It is part of a growing network of 170 pro EU groups.
North Yorkshire for Europe’s chair, Richard Sadler, said: “We’re delighted to have got such a positive response and to be able to provide a platform for so many of the top MEP candidates for this region.
“It’s already obvious that these elections – which many thought would never happen – are creating a great deal more interest than previous European Parliament elections.
“Everyone is welcome to come to this event – whatever their political views.”
Seats for the event, which is free of charge, can be booked online in advance.
A total of six MEPs’ seats in the Yorkshire & the Humber region are up for re-election to the European Parliament.
Each political party submits lists of candidates in order of preference and the number of MEPs elected from a particular party is determined by the number of votes cast for that party.
It is the first of three hustings in the Yorkshire and the Humber region next week. Similar events are being staged in Barnsley on Thursday (May 16) by People’s Vote South & West Yorkshire and in Leeds on Saturday (May 18) by Leeds for Europe.
Professor Adams is the Vice President of the National Governance Association, Founder of the National Teaching Awards and Treasurer of Humanists UK.
He was a Board member of the General Teaching Council, has given evidence to several Select Committees of the House of Commons and was awarded an MBE for services to education in 2013. He lives in Harrogate.
North Yorkshire for Europe regularly holds street stalls in local towns including Harrogate, Knaresborough Skipton, Ripon, Pateley Bridge, Boroughbridge, Northallerton, Thirsk, Richmond and Leyburn.
The group has organised five coaches for supporters joining anti-Brexit marches in London, including the Put it to the People march in March attended by more than a million people.
It has also helped organise six demonstrations outside Parliament by Yorkshire pro EU groups.