New mayor’s pledge on integration

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Cllr Anton Dani is Boston’s 485th Mayor and is believed to the first not to have been born British.

And he says he wants to use his mayoral term as an example ‘of someone who has become integrated into the community’.

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The 53-year-old was elected mayor at Boston Council’s AGM on Monday night.

He was a founding member of the Bostonian Independents Group, but defected to the Conservatives at the end of last year.

Cllr Dani has been British for the past 20 years and is protective of his status, both as a Brit and a Bostonian, but he was born in Casablanca, Morocco, and grew up in France.

He studied at a business school in England as part of his economics studies and then ended up in Iceland for six years, discovering a talent for hospitality and was soon in demand to help promote pizzerias and restaurants.

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He arrived in England in 1995 and in 1997 he married Maria and began working at the Criterion for celebrity restauranteur Marco Pierre White.

When Anton and Maria came for a three-day stay in Boston, they liked what they saw and decided it was the place for them and their sons, Sulaiman (now 20) and Zakaria (now 16).

With income from property interests, Anton took a variety of jobs, but he jumped at the chance of opening his own business, Café de Paris in Bridge Street, last year.

His father died in 1998 and his mother last year. He said she was very proud when he became a councillor and it is a big regret that she did not live to see him become Mayor of Boston.

He said: “I am British and I have made Boston my home. I love this town. During my year as Mayor I would like to see more integration.

“I want to be an example as someone who has integrated and become involved in the community I have come to live in.

“I want Boston to be better. You have to start by respecting the lives of people in any country you come to.”