Classroom helper tells London mayor candidates how to tackle problems

PUBLISHED: 16:01 02 May 2012 | UPDATED: 18:26 02 May 2012

Shabara Begum

Shabara Begum

Carmen on shift

A classroom assistant had her proud moment representing the school where she works in London’s deprived East End when she addressed a public election assembly at Westminster for the mayor election.

Shabana Begum, who works at Whitechapel’s Canon Barnett Primary, was on stage in front of 2,500 delegates to the London Citizens’ assembly at Central Hall last Wednesday.

She was selected to lead a roll call by the organisation’s Shoreditch chapter to question the four leading candidates in tomorrow’s election for mayor on their manifestos.

“I was really excited,” Shabana said afterwards. “My head teacher came with other teachers and my family and friends to supported me. They all said I made them proud.”

She told the candidates how the residents of Spitalfields’ Flower & Dean housing estate where she lives were now organising direct action against anti-social behaviour—impressing them with her zeal.

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