The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Absent Exec Officer drops out of Gen Sec race

Stuck in Pakistan, current Diversity Officer pulls out of running


The current Students’ Union Diversity Officer has pulled out of the running for General Secretary after becoming stuck abroad.

The Mancunion reported last week that University of Manchester Students’ Union Exec member Saad Wahid had been absent for over five weeks due to passport issues.

After initially taking three weeks leave at the end of January to visit his family in his native Pakistan, Mr Wahid was unable to return because he was not in possession of his passport, having handed it over to the British High Commission in the country in an effort to obtain a British Tier 1 entrepreneur visa.

“I didn’t realise that it would take such a long time for the visa to be processed and now I am stuck,” he told The Mancunion.

Subsequently, Mr Wahid has withdrawn his name from the candidacy for General Secretary of the Students’ Union.

“I withdrew because competition for the Gen Sec post is always intense and involves a high turnout of votes and not being physically present in Manchester during polling time is a serious setback to any campaign,” he said.

The race for Gen Sec now includes four candidates, Choudhry Haziq, Colin Cortbus, James Johnson, and Grace Skelton. The latter has the support of current General Secretary Nick Pringle, both of who are members of Manchester Labour Students, and current Women’s Officer Tabz O’Brien-Butcher.

“We deserve a Gen Sec who will continue Manchester’s journey forward, passionate, experienced and principled, Grace will deliver amazing things for students,” Miss O’Brien-Butcher is quoted as saying in Miss Skelton’s manifesto.

Mr Wahid was also shortlisted for the NUS International Student Officer of the Year last week, one of five candidates chosen from universities around the country. The award went to University of Liverpool’s Chidinma Chi-Chi Nwokoro.