THE Queen's newly appointed representative in Somerset is "looking forward to giving something back to the country which has given me so much".

Current Deputy Lieutenant Mohammed Saddiq, executive director of operations at Wessex Water, will take over from Annie Maw as Lord Lieutenant of Somerset when she retires at the end of October.

His parents came to England in the late '60s from Pakistan, setting up home in Leeds.

“They came here with virtually nothing but they had such a strong work ethic,” said Mr Saddiq.

“I was born in Leeds and my parents were always encouraging me to do well at school, to help create a good life for myself.”

He has enjoyed a successful career in the water, waste and renewables sectors, where he has held senior engineering and management positions.

Mr Saddiq, 52, lives in Midford, near Bath, with his wife Paula and five children.

He is passionate about sustainability and caring for the environment.

In 2012 he received the Institute of Directors South West Corporate Responsibility Director Award and in 2020 gained an honorary doctorate from the University of the West of England for enhancing the sustainable development of Bristol.

Mr Saddiq set up a partnership with Wessex Water and The Prince's Trust to mentor young people in difficult circumstances into employment and has many charitable interests.

On the role of Lord-Lieutenant, Mr Saddiq said: “It is a tremendous honour for me. I’ve always thought it is important to remember where you’ve come from.

"I’m in a privileged position now and it’s important for me to give something back to the community and the country which has given me so much.

“I’m grateful too to my company for allowing me to accept this important public role, supporting the Royal Family in Somerset.”

Mr Saddiq wants to use the position to engage with and support the business community and voluntary sector in Somerset.

He said: “Given where the economy is right now, anything the Lieutenancy can do to just ‘move the needle’ has to be a good thing.”

Mrs Maw, who has been in post for nearly eight years, said: “It’s been the greatest honour of my life to serve as Somerset’s Lord Lieutenant.

" I know Mohammed thinks the same and I know he will do a tremendous job. With his business background he will bring a new skillset to the role, which will be invaluable.”