Pakistani expatriate elected as parish councillor in UK’s Chiseldon


Fareed Qidwai, an Irish citizen of Pakistani descent and Saudi origin, was chosen two weeks ago to serve as the parish councillor of Chiseldon Parish in the largely white town of Swindon, England.

Fareed is a Liberal Democrat Party member. He recently ascended through the ranks and was appointed Treasurer of the Swindon Liberal Democrats as well as the Manager of the Election Campaign; this is the party’s first victory.

Fareed’s victory was made possible by his significant contributions to the Chiseldon, Swindon, community. As a candidate for A) South Swindon Central Parish (Lawn & Badbury Park), a different parish, and B) Swindon Borough Council, Fareed is also competing in two further elections.

According to Qidwai, his political career began while he was a teenager at the local level. He took part in an anti-racism campaign, spoke on behalf of Irish Muslim youth, and went to an interreligious workshop at the Parliament of Europe in Strasbourg, France. It was here that he first witnessed the strength of the European Union and how many countries worked together to make Europe a better place to live.

Later, when the UK held its Brexit referendum in 2016, Qidwai quit his job in Ireland and moved to the UK to take part in the campaign to re-join the EU. Later that year, Fareed relocated to Swindon and founded Swindon for Europe, an anti-Brexit organisation.

He also co-founded Plastic Free Swindon and arranged a cricket and Badminton Club for the residents. He also fundraised and actively worked for the local primary schools.