Unmesh Desai on his priorities after winning City and East election
- Credit: City Hall
Unmesh Desai has outlined his top priorities after he was comfortably re-elected to the London Assembly for the City and East constituency.
The Labour candidate was a runaway winner for the seat, which covers Newham, Barking and Dagenham, and Tower Hamlets boroughs.
He was first elected to represent the area in 2016 and spent 20 years as a Newham councillor.
Mr Desai received 125,025 votes this time around, just less than 80,000 ahead of second-placed Nick Vandyke for the Conservatives (46,718).
His majority was slightly reduced on 2016, when he triumphed by around 90,000 votes.
Despite this, he felt the results surpassed the last election.
Mr Desai said: "It was a long and tiring night at the count but the result made the wait worthwhile.
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"I am pleased, humbled and privileged that the people of east London have put such trust in me.
"As I said in my acceptance speech, I never take voters for granted and every vote has to be earned, respected and valued.
"My passion for east London over four decades is not just undiminished but increases over time. It has made me who I am and shaped my thinking over the years."
The votes were counted at ExCeL London on Saturday (May 8).
Mr Desai said he has already started work and spent his first day back in office speaking with leaseholders affected by cladding issues in the Royal Docks.
His priorities focus around investment in communities, transport and the environment.
"There are many post Covid challenges, not least retaining and bringing new jobs to our area," Mr Desai added.
Tim Kiely came third for the Green Party on 25,596 votes, followed by Richard Flowers (Liberal Democrat) on 14,136 and David Bull (Reform UK) on 9,060.
Turnout was 35 per cent.
City and East constituents gave Labour's Sadiq Khan their most first-preference votes in the mayoral election with almost 100,000 (99,971), with the Conservatives' Shaun Bailey next on 58,145.
Labour received the most votes in City and East for the Londonwide assembly members with 116,148 ahead of the Tories on 44,957.