Unmesh Desai on his 'responsibility to east London'
Unmesh Desai AM, City & East
- Credit: Archant
As I’m sure you’ve seen by now, I was re-elected as the London Assembly member for City & East, which was the last constituency to declare, very late on the Saturday evening.
The result made the wait worthwhile for me; I got 57 per cent of the vote, and a 78,000 vote majority.
That result only increases my sense of responsibility towards east London, particularly in confronting the challenges ahead as we recover from Covid-19.
I want to thank the good people of City & East for putting their faith in me at such a time. Every vote has to be earned, and valued; no voter can be taken for granted.
In east London we have a proud history from which to draw inspiration to meet the present and future challenges – from the suffragettes and the Match Girl strikers, to the Poplar Rates Rebels and the Dagenham Ford strikers, to the mass movements that confronted racism and drove the far right off our streets.
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We need this indomitable spirit now more than ever. East London has made me who I am, and has shaped my life and my politics. After four decades of activism, my passion for east London remains not just undiminished but has increased over time and I will give everything I can to it over my term in office.
The close Newham mayoral referendum result reflected polarised opinions among the voters. As I said in 2002, the will of the people has to be respected, whatever politicians' views on governance models.
- 1 Westfield evacuated after fire at centre in Stratford
- 2 Car abandoned after triple shooting and stabbing at Forest Gate barber
- 3 Halal butcher's aiming to be 'Harrods of meat industry' opens in Stratford
- 4 Parking space row sees police called and woman left feeling 'vulnerable'
- 5 14 charged with alleged drug dealing and money laundering offences
- 6 Forest Gate townhouses scoop RIBA's Neave Brown award for 'affordable' housing
- 7 Road and rail round-up: Disruptions to travel in east London this week
- 8 Beckton man due to be sentenced for sexual assault of young girl
- 9 Man in critical condition after triple shooting in Newham
- 10 Plan to transform Royal Docks into 'world-leading' cultural hub unveiled
We must also bring the borough together to address the issues that led to the referendum being called: most residents are not bothered about structures but about good service delivery. I will be doing what I can to help from City Hall.
And the real work of the new term has begun: with Stephen Timms MP, I have met residents from Waterside Park about cladding and fire safety, which is currently a major issue across the constituency. More on this in my next column.