“By May 2022 I will have served for 33 years as a Westminster City Councillor, including 14 years as Leader of the Opposition. It is time to hand the torch to a new generation. It is a privilege to be a Labour Councillor for Queen’s Park who I will continue to represent for the next 12 months.
In May 2022, I will have been a Queen’s Park Councillor for 25 years, with 8 years before that representing Harrow Road from 1982-1990. I am delighted that Cara Sanquest has been selected to take my place to join Patricia and Hamza as Labour Councillors.
I have enjoyed being a Queen’s Park Councillor since I was elected in 1997, representing a diverse community, getting things done and standing up for people when they are getting a raw deal from Westminster Council and other organisations. I have made a lot of friends and I hope to stay in touch with as many as possible.
During my years as Leader of the Labour Group, from 1987-1990 and 2004-2015, I experienced politics at the sharp end. Leading the team that exposed the ‘Homes for Votes’ scandal in the 1980s and helping to recover some of the lost money from Shirley Porter in the early 2000s, stand out as the most high-profile. I look back on my time as Chair of the Education Scrutiny Committee in 2001-2003 as the most successful. The Committee undertook a review of secondary education, leading to the creation of Westminster and Paddington Academies, both which are excellent schools, giving a great start in life to young people.
I am not going away and hope to pass on my experience to others. And for the next year or so I will remain in top gear.”