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Mayor of Camden gets a new escort as she gives birth to baby boy

Councillors thank NHS staff for their care as little Xerxes arrives two weeks early

13 June, 2019 — By Richard Osley

CAMDEN’S mayor has given birth to her own first citizen!

Maryam Eslamdoust was caught by surprise when new baby boy Xerxes arrived on Wednesday, two weeks earlier than expected.

Mayor Maryam Eslamdoust and her husband Cllr Thomas Gardiner with baby Xerxes

“I was doing mayoral events right up until the day before,” she told the New Journal. “I was at a memorial service for the London Fire Brigade and then baby came early. We rushed to University College London Hospital late on Tuesday evening – and then he arrived on Wednesday afternoon.”

It is three four since Cllr Eslamdoust became Mayor of Camden at a special council meeting.

Her consort is husband Thomas Gardiner, a fellow Kilburn councillor and now a proud father. The baby’s full name is Xerxes Arthur Gardiner.

His first name is pronounced Zerk-seez, the Mayor said, explaining that several well-wishers had asked about this. Cllr Eslamdoust, the first Iranian-born woman to become a mayor in the United Kingdom, writes an unusual new chapter in Camden’s political history as the first mayor in the borough to give birth in office.

Baby Xerxes at UCLH

She said at her mayor-making ceremony that her yet-to-be-born son would be one of her escorts.

Over the next 12 months, she has resolved to use her time wearing the mayoral chain to raise money for Solace Women’s Aid, which supports women and children who have ex­perienced domestic abuse. The charity helps with refuge places and assists with therapy, with the aim of giving women a chance to make fresh starts.

Cllr Eslamdoust was first elected in her Kilburn ward, alongside Cllr Gardiner, in 2010. The couple, part of the left-wing caucus on Camden’s Labour group, had been politically active beforehand, however; the picture below shows them march­ing against the Iraq War.

Thomas Gardiner and Maryam Eslamdoust marching against war in 2003

While council staff often take around nine months of maternity leave, Cllr Eslamdoust is expected to be back on the beat in about four weeks.

Her deputy, Sabrina Francis, was on duty at events this week as the new family return­ed home from hospital.

“We are so happy about our beautiful son arriving,” said Cllr Eslamdoust. “I must give huge thanks to the NHS staff at the UCLH for how they looked after Xerxes.”

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