East End housing cabinet member Rabina wins European Diversity award

Rasbina Khan voted European Diversity 'Hero of the Year' and (inset) with her award

Rasbina Khan voted European Diversity 'Hero of the Year' and (inset) with her award - Credit: Rabina Khan Office

A local council cabinet member for housing in London’s deprived East End has been named ‘hero of the year’ in the prestigious European Diversity awards.

Rabina Khan, front-bencher in Lutfur Rahman’s Tower Hamlets First group at the Town Hall, beat off competition from a shortlist of eight including comedian and actress Francesca Martinez and ITN’s managing editor Robin Elias.

“This is testament to how much can be achieved when we stand together when there are many who seek to sow division in our societies,” she said afterwards.

“My greatest achievement will be if I can encourage other women, particularly mums living ordinary lives, to get involved in politics and public life and act as role models to today’s generation of Muslim women.”

The mother-of-three from Shadwell, in the heart of an area with London’s longest housing waiting list, was first elected as a councillor in 2010, then re-elected earlier this year when the mayor’s supporters on Tower Hamlets council increased the number of seats to challenge Labour’s opposition majority. She has served as the Cabinet Member for Mayor Rahman on Housing and Regeneration since 2010.

The European Diversity Awards panel described Rabina as “an inspirational woman who has dedicated her life to creating an inclusive society, challenging perceptions of Muslim women and advancing their integration into mainstream society across Europe.”

Other winners at the awards staged last Thursday at the Natural History Museum, which recognised achievements in gender, disability, sexual orientation, age, race, culture and religion, included BBC Newsnight presenter Evan Davis and the autism charity CareTradeUK.