Labour Group Leader for Tower Hamlets, Joshua Peck, is resigning and will not be running for the Tower Hamlet’s Mayoral contest in 2014.
It was announced on Sunday that councillor Peck chose to stand down when he discovered he and his partner Laurence were approved to adopt a child.
East London Lines spoke with Peck about his experience going through the adoption process. He said: “We had started looking at agencies a year ago but had not engaged in the formal assessment process until last summer. We were surprised at how quickly they were approved. “
The councillor revealed that they have been approved to adopt a boy or a girl between 0 – 3 years old but the age and sex of their child has not been disclosed yet.
When asked about his future as politician he said: “I am going to take a year’s adoption leave from work to be at home – adopted children have generally had a pretty tough start to their lives and need parents who can really be there for them.
“I will continue to be a back-bench councillor so won’t leave politics altogether by any means, although it will have to take more of a backseat than it currently does. Longer term, we will just have to see. It will be very dependent on the needs of our child – and future children – but I hope that I can continue in politics as it is extremely important to me to make a difference.”
Councillor Peck has left behind many achievements during his tenure in office. In his press release on Sunday, Peck said: “I am immensely proud of what we have achieved as a Labour Group in my two years as Leader. From running campaigns that saved Rushmead One-Stop-Shop from closure and forced the Mayor to back-track on swingeing cuts to the Borough’s vital advice services, to hosting job skills training sessions, we have demonstrated time and again that even in opposition Labour makes a positive difference to people’s lives in Tower Hamlets.”
Currently there have been no formal announcements to who will be replacing him as the Labour Group leader. Councillor Peck told East London Lines there are many great candidates and he will be supporting whoever the Labour party chooses.