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Jack Hopkins steps down as Lambeth Council leader

Grainne Cuffe, Local Democracy Reporter

The leader of Lambeth Council has stepped down after just over two years in the top job.

Jack Hopkins
Jack Hopkins

In a statement on Monday, Labour councillor Jack Hopkins did not say why he made the decision to quit as leader, but said "I know I will leave the council in safe hands".

A new leader will be elected at a future council meeting, with details yet to be confirmed.

Cllr Hopkins was first elected as a councillor in Oval Ward in 2010 and has served in the cabinet since 2012, holding various roles responsible for community safety and neighbourhoods, economic development, regeneration, planning and employment and skills.

He became leader of the council in February 2019.

Cllr Hopkins said: "Being the leader of this amazing borough has been a true privilege.

"While the pandemic has been enormously challenging, we have also seen the best of our borough at a time of such adversity.

"From the food hubs that were set up at no notice to deliver thousands of packages to those who needed it most during the first lockdown, to the local mutual aid groups and voluntary organisations that helped people in local communities, the response of the borough and council has been second to none.

"It was built on the years of relationships, support and people that we have invested in developing in Lambeth so that when the challenge came, we stepped up to the mark.

"I want to thank Andrew Travers and all the staff of Lambeth council for their incredible work during the pandemic and their continued service to Lambeth residents.

"There are enormous challenges ahead as we emerge out of the pandemic, not least in ensuring a fair and equitable vaccine roll-out to all parts of our diverse community, and building a fair recovery for residents and local businesses.

"There is much to do still but I know I will leave the council in safe hands and with a very bright future ahead."

Andrew Travers, chief executive of the council, said: "Jack can be justly proud of the way in which, as leader, he has driven the council to fundamentally re-shape the way in which the council works and serves our diverse communities.

"His focus has been on putting residents first in everything we do and developing strong partnerships across and beyond the borough to deliver on that goal.

"On behalf of all Lambeth council staff, I want to say thank you to Jack for his leadership in absolutely unprecedented times.

"The Covid-19 pandemic challenged us in ways which required commitment and dedication from our staff and I believe they have responded superbly.

"At the same time, he has made sure that the work of the council in providing services to those who need them continues to an improving standard.

"Crucially, this includes prioritising work on addressing the climate crisis, tackling the housing crisis and making sure that that equality, diversity and inclusion are central to our Borough Plan objectives and that our work force better reflects the community it serves."

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