London (May 04, 2018): A British-Pakistani woman has made history after becoming the first directly elected mayor of a London borough.
Rokhsana Fiaz, who has been a councillor for Custom House in East London since 2014 won securing 53,214 votes — 73.4 per cent. Around 35.84 per cent of Newham turned out to vote for the council elections on May 3. Elections in 150 English councils were held on the same day.Rokhsana will replace Sir Robin Wales, who was deselected after 16 years in the post. At his last election, Sir Wales had received 61 per cent of the votes. Rokhsana will be incharge of nearly £250 million annual budget for Newham, which is known as one of the most diverse boroughs in western Europe and also one of the most deprived, not only in Britain but in western Europe. Most of the residents of the borough trace their roots back to Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and African countries. Fanour Green Street is also located in the same borough.
Rokhsana said that her victory showed importance of hard work and ethics. She said that it took her a long political struggle to be where she was today.
She said: “Wow. It’s mind-blowing. It says to me two things about Newham — one, the amount of trust and hope they have in the Labour Party, and the fact that we have been accelerating over the last couple of years since Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.“Eight years of devastation by Tory cuts is showing with wins like this. I think it reflects the confidence of the people in Labour’s ability to lead a council in the face of these cuts.”
Rokhsana said, “I reflect the hopes and aspirations of other ethnic minorities. I worked twice as hard as my counterparts to prove that I have talent and ability to occupy this role. The fact that I am the first directly elected ethnic minority mayor is significant. It’s also significant that I am the first directly elected woman of colour in the whole of country. It shows to young people that if you work hard and play smart, play by the rules then you can go to the top.”
Rokhsana’s parents were present in Olympics stadium in East London, where results of their daughter becoming the executive mayor of Newham were announced to huge applause. They said that they stood there as proud parents.