‘As I heard the returning officer continue listing the names and totals, it all became a blur... We had done it – we had beaten Labour in Bermondsey against the odds and I would soon be sworn in as Councillor Humaira Ali!’
I never thought politics was accessible to people like me; I’m not from a political family. All my life I’ve championed the underdog and taken on the powerful – from standing up to school bullies, and caring for lonely elderly people, to fighting to improve survival chances for ethnic-minority patients with the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust. I’ve run a Brownie pack and children’s summer camps, and fundraised for the homeless. But it was only when I signed up with the Lib Dems that I made the connection between community causes and politics. At the core of my beliefs is a passion for equality, liberty and ensuring a fair chance for all: nobody should be disqualified from pursuing their goals because of class, resources, gender, etc.
I was born and raised in South-East London, and I’ve lived in Bermondsey for a decade. I run a one-woman consultancy specialising in Change Management. This involves working with senior management in large organisations – government, banks, charities and retailers – to help them figure out what’s going wrong and lead them in fixing it. I’ve overseen multi-million pound programmes and helped businesses capitalise on new opportunities, always making sure I understand and safeguard the needs of employees. Listening to and representing the people in negotiations with the powerful would be a vital skill if I were your Parliamentary candidate.
Winning my first ever election campaign as the highest-polling candidate was a proud moment, the culmination of much hard work, knocking on thousands of doors with my dedicated ward colleagues and listening to the needs of residents. From serving as the Lib Dem campaign coordinator leading 200 volunteers across Bermondsey supporting Simon Hughes General Election campaign, to ice-skating down Tooley Street canvassing on winter nights for my own, I’m committed to helping restore the party’s fortunes and am already leading the campaign to win back BOS!
As councillor, I’ve started projects across my ward that are already giving residents a real voice – whether with the council, local businesses, or others who have previously shut them out of shaping their neighbourhood. I’ve extracted key admissions of incompetence while scrutinising the Labour Cabinet. And as a fellow citizen of the world, I have marched and campaigned, cross-party, to secure a People’s Vote and for Britain to remain in the European Union.