Nazir Afzal becomes new Chancellor of the University of Manchester

Afzal dedicated his new appointment to his parents. Credit: ITV News

Former prosecutor Nazir Afzal has become the new Chancellor of the University of Manchester.

Afzal succeeds poet Lemn Sissay in the ceremonial seven year role.

On Twitter, he dedicated his new role to his immigrant parents who came here so he could "flourish."

He also paid tribute to Sissay's Chancellorship, calling his legacy "second to none."

His installation ceremony will take place at the University in October.

During his 24 year career as Chief Crown Prosecutor for North West England, Afzal prosecuted some of the highest profile cases in the country, including the Rochdale grooming gang. These were acknowledged to change the landscape of child protection.

He also advised on other case and lead nationally on issues such as violence against women and girls, child sexual abuse, and honour based violence.

In April 2022, when his appointment was announced, Afzal said: "It is a huge privilege and honour to serve the University of Manchester as Chancellor.

"This son of immigrants, born in an impoverished inner city terraced house, could never have imagined that my journey would take me here, and I intend to remind people that this extraordinary institution represents the best this country has to offer."

He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Law at the University in 2017.

Sissay's legacy was described as "second to none." Credit: ITV News

President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manchester, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, said: “I am delighted to welcome Nazir, who has an incredible record of public service and who personifies our University’s values.

"I look forward to welcoming him to the University community and working with him to promote our ambitious plans over the coming years.

“I would also like to pay tribute to Lemn for his tremendous work over the past seven years. He has been an amazing supporter of our University, bringing life to the role – a ceremonial office with significant ambassadorial responsibilities – thanks to his star quality and wholehearted enthusiasm. It has been a pleasure working with him.”

Outgoing Chancellor, Lemn Sissay OBE, said: “I have had a wonderful seven years as Chancellor of the University.

"While my time in this particular role will end this summer, I look forward to continuing my close relationship as an honorary chair in creative writing.

"I do wish Nazir all the best as the next Chancellor of this unique, world-leading University.”

During a nomination process in February and March 2022, all University staff, members of the Board of Governors and General Assembly along with eligible alumni were invited to nominate a candidate to succeed the current Chancellor.

When nominations closed on 28 March 2022, Nazir had received the greatest number of nominations from the electorate and was the only candidate to receive the required number of twenty nominations from electors.

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