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Arbury_shapourmeftah1Cambridge is one of those places where the battle is between Labour and the Lib Dems, with the Conservatives squeezed out of any representation at all for the last couple of years. So I was particularly pleased by the election of Cllr Shapour Meftah, a refugee from Iran, who gained a seat for the Conservatives from the Lib Dems.

Cllr Meftah runs his own computer repair business, Cantab Millennium. His father was the Shah of Iran's Defence Minister. But he protested against that authoritarian regime, without realising that what would replace it would be worse.

After his family sent him to England to be educated, the Iran/Iraq war started and his visa ran out. The Home Office served a deportation order but he was allowed to stay after he married a British Iranian girl and the law was changed.

He says:

"The Home Office detectives were after me and some other young Iranians. One local language school agreed to give us lessons and we cleaned for them in return. The school was very good to us. We actually pooled our earnings and tried to hire an immigration lawyer, but she was too expensive.’

 "To support myself through my degree, I bought a kebab van. I used to go to university in the day and be up till all hours selling kebabs by night. My wife did all the vegetables. I wouldn’t get through till about one or two in the morning. Then it was back to the Tech in the morning at nine. I did that for three and a half years. Most of my assignments had grease marks on them!"

Not a stereotypical Tory councillor. 

14 comments for: Conservatives gain first seat in Cambridge