Newham Green Party by-election candidate Zahra Kheyre

Newham Green Party has announced their candidate for an upcoming by-election in the Borough. Voters in Plaistow North will soon go to the polls after Labour councillor Daniel Lee-Phakoe resigned his seat.

The Green Party – with two seats- is is the official opposition on the Labour dominated Newham Borough Council.

Zahra Kheyre has been selected by Green Party members to contest the by-election. Kheyre is an autism campaigner and supports other parents of children with autism after her own son was diagnosed.

Reacting to her selection, Zahra said: “I am extremely passionate about the community I live in. Children’s education and disabilities has been an area I have been campaigning for. The Green Party is at the forefront supporting people with disabilities and the environment. Representing the Green Party in this election will have a big impact on where I live and I felt it was the right thing to do. I want to achieve a better outcome for the community I represent. ”

Zahra has lived in Newham for the past 16 years and moved to the UK as a child to escape war in Somaliland. After ten years of navigating failing local SEND services, Zhara started an online autism support service, including translating information on autism to Somali and teaching aspects of autism to parents of children with autism. Zahra has organised online webinars with Doctors from America, Pakistan and many Somali professionals, and will be on the Educational Panel for the 2024 Disability Expo.

Discussing her family’s own experiences, Zahra said: “Newham council’s SEND services are not good enough and parents are worried their children are not getting the support they have a right to. I have had to take Newham Council to court to fight for what my child deserves. As a councillor, ensuring all children in Newham get the education they need will be a top priority.”

Leader of the Green Group on Newham Borough Council Danny Keeling said: “I’m really excited to see local members pick Zahra to represent us in this election. As recent news coverage has shown, Labour are clearly too divided and too busy tearing chunks out of each other to govern effectively. We urgently need more Greens elected to the council to provide the tough but fair opposition we have promised, and I know Zahra will make a fantastic representative for the people of Plaistow North.”

Local Green Party members selected Zahra as their candidate with over 60% of the vote with four other members standing for the position.

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