Lewisham teens elect young mayor

(front L–R) Outgoing deputy young mayor, Edafese Erhenede; Laurelle Henry; Adam Abdullah; Damien Egan; Janet Daby MP line up in front of other young mayor candidates. Pic: Lewisham council.

Lewisham youth have elected their young mayor for 2018 in vote which saw turnout higher than that of the capital’s mayoral election in May.

The election saw 9,617 youngsters voting, representing a turnout of 58.37 per cent – up almost 4 per cent from last year. This is considerably higher than the turnout of this May’s mayoral election which saw 37.38 per cent of eligible electors voting.

The new mayor was declared to be Adam Abdullah a 15-year-old Addey and Stanhope School pupil. He won after taking 1,981 votes, following an election that attracted a turnout of 58.37%.

Abdullah ran on a manifesto promising equality, accountability and support for refugees.

The new young mayor said: ‘Young people voted for change. I promised that change, and I will deliver change. I’m looking forward to working with others to deliver help to those who need it.’

Haberdashers’ Aske’s Knights Academy student Nike Ajijola was elected deputy young mayor.

Election Day was held on 17 October with polling stations at schools and youth centres across the borough, whilst young people who didn’t attend school or college in the borough able to register for a postal vote.

Abdullah will be in office for one year and will have a budget of £25,000 to spend on priorities identified by young people.

Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham, said: ‘Congratulations to Adam and Nike on their election as young mayor and deputy young mayor. I’m really excited to work with both of them. They will be an important part of our administration, working with me as a voice of our young people, speaking at events across London and of course Adam will take control of a £25,000 budget.

‘Thank you to the other 32 candidates, we’re incredibly proud that we have so many excellent young people in Lewisham that already have such a strong sense of community and are making a difference. Do not be disheartened – politics is about getting back up on your feet and having the resilience to go again. Learning from your last campaign to improve your next one.

‘My thanks also go to Laurelle Henry and Edafese Erhenede, our outgoing young mayor and deputy young mayor, for their year of service to our borough. They’ve both had an exceptionally busy 12 months, from rolling out the curriculum for life to preparing for the Young Mayor’s Talent Showcase, and they’ll be a tough act to follow.’

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