On Monday night (22nd February), Cllr Richard Watts informed a meeting of the Labour Group that he would not seek re-election as Leader of the Labour Group and will step down as Leader of Islington Council in May.
Cllr Watts was first elected to Tollington Ward in 2006, served as Executive member for Children, Young People & Families, and Executive member for Finance & Performance before becoming Leader in 2013.
Under his leadership, Islington Labour have won two landslide election victories in 2014 and 2018, winning 47 out of 48 council seats.
In his letter announcing his decision, Cllr Watts thanked the people of Islington for their support for Islington Labour’s ambition to make the borough a fairer place for all and praised their community strength in responding to the challenges the borough has faced including the Finsbury Park terrorist attack, the global pandemic and over a decade of unprecedented Government cuts which have pushed public services to the limit.
A new Leader will be appointed by Annual Council on 20th May. Cllr Watts plans to remain as a Councillor for Tollington ward until the next local elections in 2022.