DR MOHAMMED ALI OBE, Chief Executive, and ADEEBA MALIK CBE, Deputy Chief Executive, QED Foundation

I approached Perry Austin-Clarke shortly after he became Editor of the Telegraph & Argus in 1992, the same year Adeeba Malik joined QED.  I had founded QED-UK, which aims to improve the social and economic position of disadvantaged communities, just two years earlier and we really needed to raise our profile and explain our work to the wider community. Perry came to visit us almost immediately and I could see he was genuinely interested in and impressed by what we do. He has been a strong supporter and enthusiastic advocate for our work ever since. He is someone who cares greatly about disadvantaged people and about the importance of maintaining and developing good community relations and he has helped raise millions of pounds through his newspapers to benefit local causes and local people. Perry has been a good friend to QED for more than 20 years and I’m really pleased that his new venture will allow him to help more charities in the way he’s supported us.

PHILIP DAVIES, Member of Parliament for Shipley

In the 12 years I spent as the MP for Shipley whilst Perry was editor at the Bradford Telegraph & Argus, I can honestly say I have no idea how he voted and always found him to scrupulously fair and even handed.  He would be rigorous in holding me and other local MPs to account but also ensured the coverage was accurate and balanced with no political bias.  No politician could ever ask for more than that from a local newspaper and editor. Perry’s total integrity shines through in everything he does.

MOHAMMED IQBAL, Founder & Vice-Chair of Bradford Matters, Non Executive Director, Bradford Teaching Hospitals FT and President, Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, Bradford

As someone who is passionate about his city and the diverse communities that it represents, I can say with full confidence and conviction that Perry Austin-Clarke has been one of the most influential people in my life. As a young person going through the Common Purpose Leadership Programme in the mid-1990s, Perry helped me to understand the importance of the media and how it works. More importantly, his leadership as Editor of the T&A showed the sensitivity and fairness that was required to fully understand the challenges facing the Bradford District and to represent the views of its diverse communities. As an influential media figure and city leader, Perry has shared with us all the ups and downs of Bradford… but on a personal level, and throughout his 25-year period at the T&A, he has remained an optimist. To his credit, Perry has not only contributed to the journalistic and financial success of the T&A, he has ensured that the T&A remains central to the life of Bradford by supporting and celebrating success across the district throw the annual Bradford Means Business Awards and the Bradford & Districts Schools Awards. I am delighted that he will be remaining in the district and continuing to contribute to the development and success of our city and region.

ZULFI KARIM, Founder and Director, World Curry Festival and General Secretary, Bradford Council For Mosques

I have known and worked, both as a business owner/entrepreneur and as a community leader, with Perry for more than 20 years and I have always found him to be supportive, helpful and genuinely keen to help me succeed in all my ventures. He’s full of good ideas and advice and he has always been a passionate supporter of the city and its communities and keen to do everything in his power to help them work in a successful and harmonious way. The way he has championed local business has played a big part in promoting the regeneration and development of Bradford, not least through the establishment, organisation and running of the Bradford Means Business Awards which have made a significant contribution to the commercial community in the district. I’ve no doubt he will continue to be a real champion of local business in his new role and I wish him well.

SUSAN HINCHCLIFFE, Leader, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council

I am really sorry to hear that you’re leaving the role of Editor at the T&A.  You will be sadly missed by the city.  We don’t always agree but, regardless of this, I know you feel passionately about the city and want the best for our future.  You have been a great champion and ambassador for Bradford and I just hope that whoever follows you will take your example. 

MARK GARRATT, Director of External Affairs, University of Bradford

I have worked with Perry for just under four years, in his capacity as Editor-in-Chief for the Telegraph & Argus, and from the day I met him, he has been incredibly supportive and welcoming to me and the University. He was instrumental in leading two major fundraising campaigns to support our cancer therapeutics research. He also showed real foresight in setting up the T&A School’s Awards, which has been running four years, too. I had no hesitation in committing the University to be a key sponsor, for what has become the highlight of the awards calendar in the city. Perry’s professionalism, dedication and journalistic skill has been a real asset to the City of Bradford.

STEVE BROWN, Managing Director, Make It York

I worked with Perry on initiatives when he was Editor of The Press, in York, and I found him to be very professional, reliable and, crucially, he did what he said. Things were never over-complicated and there was always a quick turnaround from idea into action. This mirrors my experience of working with other editors in my past career. Editors are driven by deadlines and this means getting things done –quickly and accurately. Editors are well connected, they are resourceful and they have a trained eye for an opportunity. Perry very much fits into this category and I would wholeheartedly endorse the PR, media and publishing skills he could bring to a range of businesses and organisations.

DAVID COATES, Managing Director, Newsquest North

Perry’s service of more than 28 years with the company and nearly a quarter of a century as Editor of the Telegraph & Argus has been exemplary. It has been a privilege to work with an editor of his stature. I am delighted he will be continuing his long association with the newspaper once he steps down from editing and I will look forward to working with him for many years to come. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Perry for his enormous contribution to the success of all our titles in both Bradford and York over a long and distinguished career and wish him every success with his new venture.

DAVID WILSON, Director, Bradford UNESCO City of Film

Bradford was designated as the world’s first UNESCO City of Film in 2009 and has built a solid international reputation using this status. This has not always been a straightforward process for many reasons but the support and encouragement from Perry over the past five years in particular has been constant and unwavering. He’s someone who could observe with a critical eye but would always give an open and honest appraisal if consulted.  

SANDY NEEDHAM, Chief Executive, West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce

Perry introduced many innovations at the Telegraph & Argus, which changed how the newspaper was viewed and added to its appeal.  One of the most important initiatives, from our point of view, was the Bradford Means Business Awards. The Bradford Chamber has worked successfully with Perry and his team on that for several years and the awards have boosted awareness of some great, but previously unrecognised companies. The introduction of a business section was well-received, especially the inclusion of case studies and features appealing to a specific audience.  The quality and variety of the coverage given to local firms were excellent. Perry has also demonstrated an ability to run successful campaigns, for example by creating the “Buy Bradford” initiative, that made a difference when local businesses needed to work together to survive a difficult economic period. As well as being able to relate well to businesses and their issues, Perry has also worked effectively with the public sector, schools and charities, including creating the flourishing Schools Awards scheme.