I grew up in the East End, attending Lawdale and Marner Primary Schools and Bow Secondary School. I’m a father of two young children- both of whom attend local state schools.
Before I became Mayor, I was a partner in a law firm based in the borough where I headed the family law unit and was appointed to the Law Society’s Advanced Children’s panel which deals with highly complex and sensitive child protection issues.
I have always been active in the local community. I cut my teeth in politics standing up against the BNP and the National Front and over the last 20 years have served as a founder member of the Community Alliance for Police Accountability; Chair of the Tower Hamlets law Centre; a non-executive director at the Royal London Hospital and a member of the Spitalfields Market Community Trust.
I was elected as a Councillor for Spitalfields and Banglatown from 2002-10. During that time I served as Lead Member for Education (2003-5); Lead Member for Culture (2006-7); and Leader of the Council from 2008-10.
Since October 2010, I’ve been the Executive Mayor of Tower Hamlets. My proudest moments in politics have been making Tower Hamlets the first London Living Wage Borough; building more affordable homes than anywhere else in the UK and replacing the Education Maintenance Allowance to help young people stay in education.