Brent's London Assembly member to stand down at next mayoral election
PUBLISHED: 14:56 26 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:17 26 March 2019
Navin Shah is to step down from his role serving Brent at City Hall to concentrate on projects close to his heart,
The Labour London Assembly member for Brent and Harrow has announced he will not stand again at the Mayoral elections next year having served his constituents for 12 years.
The 70-year-old, who is currently recovering from spinal surgery, said: “The rumours are all correct. I’ve notified all my local members and I will be standing down. It’s the right time for me, in light of other things, to be looking into new challenges.”
An architect by profession, Indian-born Mr Shah moved to the UK as a student in 1973 and joined the Labour Party four years later.
He was elected as a Harrow councillor for Kenton East in 1994 and a decade later, in 2004, became leader of Harrow Council for two years, the first Indian in the UK to hold this position.
In 2008, the grandfather-of-one stormed to victory as a London Assembly member.
He said: “Since that historic victory by a slim majority of 1,649 votes we have increased it to 20,775 – making Brent and Harrow a safe seat for Labour. “After eight wasted years under Boris [Johnson, former mayor] I am proud of what Sadiq Khan our Labour mayor and our Labour Group on the assembly have already achieved.”
Since his election Navin has lobbied for accessible public transport, the fight against closure of fire stations and a report recommending compulsory requirement of sprinklers in residential buildings.
He is also a founder member and trustee of the Harrow Anti-Racist Alliance.
He said: “I’m going back to my original campaigns - the anti-apartheid movements in the 1970s. There’s so much hate. Black and Asian communities are affected, I think that will continue. I’ll continue to be a proud Labour Party member and continue to fight against anti-semitism or any form of discrimination practiced in the party. It’s a shame what’s happening, by destroying themselves from within, that’s bad for democracy. Any form of hate or discrimination, I want to remain in the party and get rid of it.”
His departure opens the way for a replacement: “I expect there’s be alot of interest,” he said.