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Cllr Rokhsana Fiaz set to challenge for mayor of Newham

PUBLISHED: 18:06 29 January 2018 | UPDATED: 18:10 29 January 2018

Cllr Rokhsana Fiaz

Cllr Rokhsana Fiaz

Rokhsana Fiaz

Cllr Rokhsana Fiaz has announced she will challenge to be Labour’s candidate for mayor of Newham if party members agree to an open selection.

The Custom House councillor has thrown her hat into the ring ahead of the first wards casting their votes tonight in the re-run of the process.

She said: “I’m putting myself forward for this because I want to offer a fresh start for this council and a new ambitious alternative for Newham.”

Cllr Fiaz, who was born and brought up in the borough, was first elected as a councillor in May 2014 and currently sits as chair of scrutiny as well as a member of the council’s audit board and strategic development committee.

She explained that she was passionate about the issues facing a lot of people living in the borough, including affordable adult social care, the safety of young people and investment in early years education.

“I’m passionate about making sure there are genuinely affordable, quality homes for people,” she added.

“I’ve been working closely with an organisation called Peach, who are in my ward of Custom House, to allow residents to have their say during the regeneration.

“Uniquely, I’m also the only councilor who does regular youth surgeries for young people to come and meet me.”

The trigger ballot, also known as the affirmitive nomination process, is being held to decide whether to automatically select incumbent mayor Sir Robin Wales as Labour’s candidate for May’s election or whether to open it up to other prospective candidates.

The original ballot was held in December 2016 but earlier this month, the result was scrapped after legal action was launched.

Last time, Sir Robin won the trigger ballot with 20 votes to 17 thanks to most affiliated organisations backing him - but 11 out of 20 Labour electoral wards called for the involvement of other candidates.

Cllr Fiaz said: “If there is an open selection, I look forward to discussing with members my vision and their hopes.

“Whatever the outcome of the trigger ballot, members should have the opportunity to choose from a range of candidates and I am stepping forward to be one of them.”

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