London Assembly election 2021: Meet the north east candidates

File photo dated 16/08/2012 of City Hall in London (left), Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has confirmed

MacMillan Cancer want the candidates for London mayor to agree to three pledges - Credit: PA Images

Six candidates are in the running to be the north east representative on the London Assembly at the May 6 elections, representing Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest.

Everyone registered to vote on Thursday May 6, will have one vote to have their say on who will represent them. 

Read from each of them here on why they should get your vote:

Emma Best, Conservative and Unionist Party

Chingford Cllr Emma Best

Chingford Cllr Emma Best pledges to champion early intervention measures for young people, scrap the ULEZ expansion and upgrade the London bus fleet to improve air quality, scrap LTNs and reopen all police stations across Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest that the current mayor has closed. - Credit: Courtesy of Emma Best

I live in Waltham Forest with my wife and three boys and work in children and family services. I have been a local councillor in Waltham Forest for almost seven years fighting for the most vulnerable in society and experienced the struggles of London first-hand; sofa-surfing, knife crime and the rising cost of living that threatens to push us all further from the city we love. 

I want to use my professional experience to make sure every child, young person and family across Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

I also want to champion green policy that actually improves air quality and people’s lives. The ULEZ expansion will have little impact except penalising the most vulnerable in society who cannot afford a new car at the drop of a hat or the £12.50 charge to use their current one. I’ll fight to focus funding on upgrading the bus fleet and expanding routes across each borough.

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I will always stand up for the best interests of residents in the north east constituency. 

Kate Pothalingam, Liberal Democrats

Kate Pothalingam, Liberal Democrats.

Kate Pothalingam, Liberal Democrats says, If elected her focus would be on Jobs, Homes and Clean Air - Credit: Islington Liberal Democrats

I want to be elected to the London Assembly to provide real scrutiny and hold the Mayor of London to account.

It is not good enough for the mayor to claim to be “green” whilst at the same time going ahead with the construction of a £2bn polluting road tunnel in the face of local opposition. 

I will push the mayor and GLA to urgently move London towards a better environmental future; from zero emission buses to rewilding, encouraging active travel and smart road pricing, as well as a full review into plans to build the Edmonton Incinerator which will make pollution worse.

I will push for a London Housing Company that will take control of delivering the homes we need directly by bringing empty homes back into use, maximising the use of public land, and raising revenue to build sites of its own.

We also really need to support Londoners impacted by the pandemic to gain the skills they need to get back into work with apprenticeships, and really support the self-employed and small businesses with things like a rent relief fund to help clear debts piled up during the pandemic.

Nancy Taaffe, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 

People should vote for me because I'm a working class woman who has spent the last 30 years fighting every cut, privatisation and outsourcing that has ever taken place in my community.

These policies have pauperised working class people and our kids and they need to be reversed. I have , and will,  fight against these policies outside of election time and I stand against them in elections. 

I have occupied wards at my local hospitals threatened with closure and helped a whole street get organised when they were threatened with eviction, they were called Butterfield Won't Budge. We won.

I'm currently chair of Save Our Square, which is a six year old community campaign battling against the building of a monstrous 34 storey tower block.

I don't believe in being a professional politician. I stand on a workers wage which means I will only accept the wage I'm on now and no more if elected.

We need a publicly funded, clean, efficient, and integrated transport system and roads should only on be closed on the basis of consent by the local community. 

Sem Moema, Labour and Co-operative Party 

Sem Moema.

Sem Moema. - Credit: Archant

I know the north east London constituency because it’s my home: I used to live in Islington and I help housing associations to build social housing in the borough. I live in Hackney, I was the chair of Hackney South CLP and I’m a councillor and cabinet member there. And I worked for several years in Waltham Forest and my mum and sister live there now.

As your assembly member, I will work with the mayor to undo the damage done by the Tories, delivering on the issues that matter to Londoners.

In these difficult times, we need visible and vocal BAME representatives to defend the diverse and open boroughs we have created in Waltham Forest, Islington and Hackney. We need to build a society based on our shared Labour values, truly for the many and not the few.

I’ve been a Labour member and activist for almost 20 years and I have served two terms as a councillor, driven to join and make a difference to the community I live in.

And I get results: in Hackney, I introduced landlord licensing to extend renters’ rights to 34,000 households in privately-rented homes, persuading three large housing associations to give three-year tenancies to their tenants and stabilise rents, offering thousands of families stability and security without the fear of becoming homeless.

I have delivered a municipal housing company, entirely owned and managed by the council, to provide London Living Rent homes for local people at a third of average local wages and protected from the asset stripping that is Right to Buy.

I’m lobbying the Government hard on rent controls in the private rented sector, and want to bring this experience to City Hall.

Caroline Russell, Green Party 

North east London Assembly candidate Caroline Russell 

North east London Assembly candidate Caroline Russell - Credit: Green Party

I am an Islington Councillor and a Londonwide London Assembly member. I cover economy, environment and transport for the Green Group on the assembly.

I have energy, commitment and hands-on experience as an elected representative, and I am ready to serve as your constituency assembly member.

I’ve lived in Islington since I moved to London 35 years ago and am so proud to be standing for the North East constituency for the London Assembly.

I got into politics through campaigning with Islington Living Streets, standing up for cleaner air and safer, healthier streets especially for children, older and disabled people.

As a Londonwide Assembly member for the last five years I have taken up casework for Islington constituents on clean air, unacceptable noise from tube trains and fixing a raft of on-going issues at Highbury Corner.

London could be the greenest city in the world, the city best prepared for the future. And who better to get us there than a Green Mayor?

All the evidence shows that Londoners are crying out for a new start. A recovery that raises everyone up, that creates a secure, green future.

Please check out the Green Party manifesto which is bursting with great ideas to make our city fairer, safer and greener.

Alex Wilson, Reform UK candidate

This election gives us a crucial opportunity to reboot our great city.

I am a small business owner who has seen first hand the catastrophic impact of lockdown on the backbone of our economy and society.

So many businesses have been blocked from trading, but the chancellor has repeatedly excluded three million taxpayers from meaningful support.

Reform UK is the only party committed to reopening our society with no more lockdowns and reopening our streets by scrapping Low Traffic Neighbourhoods.

We want to get back to normal - not “new normal”.