Councillor Rokhsana Fiaz beats Sir Robin Wales to become Newham Labour's next mayoral candidate
PUBLISHED: 15:02 16 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:29 16 March 2018
After 16 years in the post, Sir Robin Wales will not be Newham's next mayor.
Labour members have been voting to elect their candidate for May’s mayoral elections.
Today, it was announced that Councillor Rokhsana Fiaz won by 861 votes to 503.
She said: “I want to thank Labour party members in Newham for putting their trust and hope in me as their candidate for Mayor of Newham.
“I can’t wait to start working with members and residents to build a Newham that offers homes for our residents and a future for all our young people.
“Let’s unite and work together for Labour’s success at the local elections in May. It’s time to be truly radical again and show what Labour can achieve for the many here in Newham.”
If elected, Cllr Fiaz will build 1,000 council owned homes by the end of her first term, double the number of youth hubs and oppose academisation and the Silvertown tunnel scheme.
She’s also promised to improve council transparency, making sure accountability to residents is the priority during her time in office.
Sir Robin said: “I would like to congratulate Rokhsana for her successful campaign. Being a Labour Mayor has been a great privilege and I want to thank all of those who have been with me throughout this journey, and all of those that helped on my campaign.
“I am so proud of everything that my administration has achieved.
“When I was first elected, Newham was a borough with high unemployment and poverty. Thanks to what we have done – informed by our Labour values – unemployment has drastically dropped, poverty has declined and education results are at an all-time high.
“This campaign revealed the challenges that Labour in local government are facing – from housing to severe Tory budget cuts – but also the difference that Labour can make in power.
“Over the last few months our local party has fallen into internal sniping and disputes often based on untruths. Moving forward we must now focus on uniting the party and delivering for the people of Newham.
“Rokhsana has made some ambitious promises that clearly Labour members supported, and I look forward to seeing Rokhsana face the bigger test of putting these ambitious targets to the residents of Newham.”
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan tweeted his congratulations, as have Wapping Labour and Newham’s anti-academisation campaign groups. The E15 Focus group, which has been campaigning against Newham Council on social housing since 2013, will be holding an event on Stratford’s Broadway tomorrow to celebrate the result.
The election for Newham’s mayor and councillors will be on Thursday, May 3.