Find out more about the Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz.
“I was born in Mile End hospital, grew up in Newham and have lived here all my life. My parents moved to London from Pakistan in the early 1960s and after the first few years of hard struggles and piecemeal jobs, they set up a family business.
I was taught by amazing teachers at St Stephen’s, Shaftesbury and Plashet Secondary School; and following my A-levels at Newham Community College I went to university in the Midlands where I became active in student politics, campaigning against racism and the introduction of student loans.
At the age of 20, I had to leave university suddenly and come back to Newham because the family home my parents worked hard for was re-possessed leaving us homeless.
After finishing my studies at a London university, I became the national coordinator for an anti-racism organisation working to support the Stephen Lawrence Family Campaign.
I went into political journalism and then established an organisation that worked hard to deal with the fall-out from 7/7 terror attacks in London, to ensure communities across the UK remained united and strong while challenging the scourge of racism and Islamophobia.
I’ve led large-scale projects for local authorities, the European Commission and the Council of Europe. I have been the executive director of a national charity working with young people to build bridges amongst Muslim and Jewish students at university campuses across the UK to tackle anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. In June 2009, I was honoured with the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to Black and Minority Communities in the UK.
My most recent role was as the CEO of an international UNESCO supported charity promoting interfaith and global citizenship across the world. Whilst there I also led a project, in collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat, to support youth leadership globally.
In 2014, I was elected as a councillor for Custom House Ward and went on to serve as a Chair of a Scrutiny Commission, a member of the Authority’s Audit Board and its Strategic Development Committee.
My passion for politics is driven by my desire to improve the lives of you, your family and everyone in our community. I will tirelessly campaign on your behalf as your Mayor for Newham to achieve this.
At a time when the Tories austerity agenda is causing havoc and pushing more people into poverty, we need a strong campaigning Labour council in Newham with a Mayor that will fight your corner.”