View from the Assembly: It is important pass on the lessons of soldiers’ sacrifices to future generations

PUBLISHED: 08:00 17 November 2018


Remembrance Day services are always moving and especially so with this year marking the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

I attended the annual service at City Hall with members of the Royal British Legion, and representatives from the Armed Forces. In Newham, I attended the service at Central Park, which was noteworthy for the many young people also in attendance.

In my 20 years as a local councillor, I have always attended this event with pride and emotion, and as your representative at City Hall, this remains the same. I am also glad that importance is placed upon remembering the thousands of Commonwealth soldiers who died fighting alongside British soldiers to preserve our freedoms. We owe it to them to pass on the lessons of their sacrifices to future generations.

On the theme of remembrance, it’s important that we recognise the similarities between the reprehensive yet resurgent far-right groups gaining undue attention today and those such as Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts during the interwar period. With the uncertainty of Brexit, we must remain vigilant against those callous forces seeking to play on people’s fears for their own benefit.

I’ll be sending just that message at the National Unity Rally Against Racism and Fascism, organised by Stand Up to Racism, on November 17. The Newham branch will be meeting outside Stratford tube station at 10:30am on the day of the rally before joining thousands of others in Central London, and local residents are welcome to join us.

It pleased me to see Sadiq Khan’s ‘London Is Open’ branding emblazoned on Canning Town station recently. In East London, I carry this message on the ground as I work to reassure our EU citizens that they are a welcome and valued part of our society regardless of the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.

On another, final note, my ‘London Moving East’ initiative sets out how across East London various agencies are working to ensure our collective economic growth. I want to make sure that everyone in City and East constituency feels the benefits of this. The launch pamphlet is available on my GLA website.

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