Abbas came to the UK in 1972 and moved with his family to rented accommodation before his father moved the family to a squat in Tower Hamlets. This squatting movement was his first experience of politics and as a teenager he was a prominent in the Bengali Housing Action Group which campaigned for better and safe housing.
This led him to setting up one of the first youth groups which were involved in the defence of the Bangladeshi community throughout the nineteen seventies, a time when the National Front were active in East London and the football based gangs of racist hooligans were starting to emerge.
Aware that he lacked educational qualifications Abbas studied evenings and weekends for O and A levels, moved on to diplomas in youth work and finally a degree from the University of East London in Voluntary Sector Policy. He then worked for many years with unemployed and vulnerable youth. While a youth worker in Camden he helped to set up the Bengali Workers Action Group which campaigned for better conditions and pay for restaurant workers.
Realising that while change could come from grassroots and community actions but that they had their limits, Abbas joined the Labour Party and in 1985 was elected as one of the first Bangladeshi councillors for that party. He served as a councillor for twenty years. In 2001 he became leader of the council and in the five years that he was in that post turned Tower Hamlets around from a failing borough educationally to Beacon status.
He also tackled head on the subject of corruption in the allocation of grants. He engaged a firm of forensic accountants who then brought in the police, a process that ended with three people going to prison.
He has for twenty years worked as a grants manager for a leading City charity and has been responsible for funding groups working with child poverty, educational under achievement and homelessness. He lives with his family in Bow in Tower Hamlets an area of East London that has been his home since he arrived in the UK.
He began this blog to highlight and get discussions going on subjects that he is concerned about and that he thinks that Labour need to address not only to be elected to government but because they are what the party was formed to tackle and eradicate, illiteracy, poverty, homelessness and exploitation
I will build more affordable homes and take action against overcrowding and poor housing conditions.
Raise standards in our schools and ensure every child has access to the best possible education.
Crack down on crime by refusing to give in to criminals who don’t contribute to society. I’ll also fight the Tory’s police cuts and make sure we have safer neighborhoods.
Improve health care by making sure every resident has access to GP’s.
If you have any questions or would like to arrange a meeting, then please get in touch