Councillor Sabina Akhtar was elected unopposed to serve as Speaker of Tower Hamlets Council for the new municipal year at the Council's annual general meeting yesterday. Councillor Akhtar is the first Bangladeshi woman elected to serve as Speaker.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs has also welcomed Councillor Abdul Mukit MBE to the Cabinet, who joins as Lead Member for Culture and Youth, and Councillor Amina Ali, who will serve as Lead Member for Environment.
Mayor Biggs has thanked Councillor Ayas Miah for his work as Lead Member for Environment following his decision to step down from Cabinet in order to take up the role of Deputy Speaker. Mayor Biggs also thanked Councillor Shiria Khatun for her work in the Cabinet as Lead Member for Community Safety after her decision to step down from the role.
Leader of Tower Hamlets Labour Group, Mayor John Biggs said:
"I would like to congratulate Councillor Akhtar on her election as Speaker of the Council. Sabina is the first Bangladeshi woman to serve as Speaker and she will be dedicated to representing our Borough.
"I would also like to thank all of my Cabinet members for their hard work and dedication, particularly Cllr Miah who has chosen to step down from Cabinet to serve our borough as Deputy Speaker of the Council, and Councillor Khatun for all her work on community safety.
"We have a wealth of talent, experience and backgrounds in this Cabinet as well as some fresh new ideas about how to continue to make our borough one of the best places in London to live."
Councillor Sabina Akhtar, Council Speaker for 2017/18, said:
"It is an honour to serve as Speaker of Tower Hamlets Council and I'm very grateful to my colleagues for electing me.
"Tower Hamlets is the most exciting borough in the UK and there are so many opportunities here. It is a great privilege to represent our borough as Speaker and I look forward to working with Mayor John Biggs, residents, councillors, charities and organisations over the coming year."