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Pastor voted the most inspirational black figure

HONOUR: Pastor Agu Irukwu was voted as the most black person in Britain

PASTOR Agu Irukwu has been voted as Britain's most influential black person.

The competition, run by the Mayor of London and Metro newspaper to mark Black History Month, saw 54 percent vote for the pastor.

Pastor Irukwu beat big names like US president Barack Obama, former South African president Nelson Mandela and US human rights activist Martin Luther King, to reach the top spot.

The north London pastor, who is a former investment banker, has been senior pastor at Jesus House in London since 1994.

In 2006 the married father of three came under fire when he was one of several clergymen who signed a letter to the Daily Telegraph that criticised the Sexual Orientation Regulations.

In the letter, they said the laws would force churches to "accept and even promote the idea that homosexuality is equal to heterosexuality", claiming the regulations were "an affront to our freedom to be Christians".

The competition, which takes place during Black History Month, champions black culture, history and heritage, and seeks to recognise the contribution made by black people to Britain.

At the launch of the competition earlier this month, Mayor Johnson said black people had made a big contribution to history and praised the collaborative initiative between the paper and his office.

"Black people have made a massive contribution to history over the centuries and this stunning exhibition showcases the rich variety and reach of their influences in so many different fields," he said.

“It [exhibition] covers well over two hundred years of history and celebrates truly iconic black men and women of all ages, who have inspired so many with their magnificent achievements,” he added.

The country’s first black woman MP, Diane Abbott, Notting Hill Carnival founder Claudia Jones, singer Leona Lewis and The Voice columnist, Dotun Adebayo were also among the 61 candidates shortlisted.

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