Meet Hackney's new speaker and deputy speaker

The new Speaker of Hackney, Cllr Michael Desmond. 

The new Speaker of Hackney, Cllr Michael Desmond. - Credit: Hackney council

Hackney welcomes the return of Cllr Michael Desmond as the borough's latest civic representative.

Cllr Kam Adams stepped down from the role he held for two years after Cllr Desmond was elected as Speaker of Hackney for a second time at the council's annual general meeting on April 27. 

Cllr Desmond was last elected as speaker in 2013 and has lived in Hackney for nearly 35 years. 

The Hackney Downs Ward councillor's top priorities for the coming year are fundraising for and promoting the aims of his two chosen charities, St Joseph's Hospice and Hackney Empire

Cllr Desmond is also interested in helping to tackle and raise awareness about online hate crime, cyber bullying, discrimination towards LGBTQ+ people and knife crime.

Alongside his work in the council, cllr Desmond holds an annual environmental clean-up event, Clean up Clapton, and helps run Society Syndrome, a social affairs think tank which invites young people to have their say on issues that affect them. 

Cllr Desmond, who represents Hackney Downs Ward, said he was honoured to represent "our brilliant, diverse borough.

He added: “I have seen first-hand the transformation of our borough throughout the years.

"Hackney now has some of the best schools, award-winning parks and green spaces, and a world-class night time economy and creative scene.

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“Despite this transformation, the coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on our local economy, the lives of our residents, and the key workers who have kept our borough going throughout this incredibly difficult and unprecedented time."

He said he intends to work with leaders, residents and communities to address the inequalities "exacerbated and highlighted" by coronavirus regulations. 

Supporting cllr Desmond will be cllr Humaira Garasia, who was sworn in as the new deputy speaker of Hackney.

The new Deputy Speaker of Hackney, Cllr Humaira Garasia.

The new Deputy Speaker of Hackney, Cllr Humaira Garasia. - Credit: Hackney council

Cllr Garasia is a campaigner against hate and religious discrimination. 

Last year she successfully brought in a motion which saw the council adopt the official definition of Islamophobia and commit to tackling prejudice against Muslims. 

Donate to the Speaker’s chosen charities at