THE city's first Muslim mayor has been sworn in for a second time - 15 years after making history.

Councillor Allah Ditta, who was the first Muslim to hold the office of mayor of Worcester in 2004 and served as deputy mayor to Cllr Jabba Riaz last year, was elected by councillors at the Guildhall on Tuesday night (May 14).

Accepting the position of mayor of Worcester, Cllr Ditta said: "I am very grateful for all of you who have supported this.

"When I first became a councillor [ex-chief executive of Worcester City Council] Philip Betts said there's a word of wisdom for you here, when you become a councillor you're not representing your ward anymore, you're representing the city and of course I will represent wholeheartedly the city."

Fellow Conservative Cllr Stuart Denlegh-Maxwell said it was a "great honour" to be able to propose "his very dear friend" and he was sure Cllr Ditta, who was re-elected to Cathedral ward earlier this month, would serve the city with "great distinction and a tremendous amount of style" as he had done previously.

Cllr Andy Roberts said in a world in which intolerance was a fact of life, it took a brave man and a man of great integrity to form a bridge between what is actually one community.

Cllr Roberts said Cllr Ditta had shown he was such a man in his first term as mayor as he "immersed himself in his duties" and enhanced the reputation of the city.

He added: "What is even more special is on occasions he has continued to do that despite unfair criticism and perhaps even worse."