Unmesh Desai

Unmesh Desai is a British politician. A member of the Labour Party, he has represented City and East in the London Assembly since 2016. He served as Councillor on the London Borough of Newham from 1998 until 2016,[1] representing East Ham Central from 2002 onwards.

Unmesh Desai

Unmesh Desai cropped.png
Unmesh in 2017
Member of the London Assembly
for City and East
Assumed office
6 May 2016
Preceded byJohn Biggs
Personal details
Political partyLabour


Desai has resided in East London for more than 30 years. He previously trained and worked as a solicitor. He is a trustee of the West Ham United Foundation, President of the Newham Cricket Club and a Vice-President of the East London Rugby Club. Desai acted as election agent for Stephen Timms, the Labour MP for East Ham.[2] He has written for The Guardian on the Prevent strategy.[3] Desai has also been the Chair of the Newham Fabian Society for several years.


Desai was first elected to the Newham London Borough Council in 1998, representing St Stephens ward. He was subsequently elected as a councillor for East Ham Central in 2002 following a boundary change. He continued being a councillor for East Ham Central until 2018 when he stood down to focus on his London Assembly work. During his time on Newham Council he served as Cabinet Member for Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour.

In May 2016, Desai was elected to the London Assembly succeeding John Biggs as the member for City and East, winning nearly 58% of the vote.[4] He was subsequently reselected as Labour candidate for the constituency for the 2020 London Assembly election.[5]

Desai is Labour's London Assembly spokesperson on Policing and Crime and Chair of both the London Assembly Audit Panel and the Police and Crime Committee.[6] During his time on the Assembly, he has campaigned on issues including police pay[7] and conditions,[8] anti-fascism,[9] and hate crime at football grounds.[10][11]


  1. ^ "Unmesh Desai | London City Hall". london.gov.uk. Retrieved 2019-08-16.
  2. ^ Press Trust of India (15 May 2010). "Former UK minister attacked by knife-wielding Muslim woman". NDTV.com. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  3. ^ "Unmesh Desai". the Guardian. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  4. ^ Sophie Morton. "Labour candidate Unmesh Desai wins London Assembly seat". Newham Recorder. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  5. ^ "Newsletter Edition 32 | Tower Hamlets Labour". thlabour.org.uk. Retrieved 2019-08-16.
  6. ^ "London Assembly – Membership of Committees/Bodies and Terms of Reference 2019/20 | London Assembly" (PDF). london.gov.uk. Retrieved 2019-08-14.
  7. ^ "Public sector pay rises in full: What police, teachers and more will get | Mirror Online". mirror.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-08-16.
  8. ^ "Met Police cancels 330,000 officer rest days as it tackles surge in knife crime and police cuts | London Evening Standard". standard.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-08-16.
  9. ^ "London United will unite the left to fight the far right | LabourList". labourlist.org. Retrieved 2019-08-16.
  10. ^ "West Ham face calls to condemn Democratic Football Lads Alliance | The Guardian". guardian.com. Retrieved 2019-08-16.
  11. ^ "News from Unmesh Desai: Football clubs urged to improve recording of hate crime | London City Hall". london.gov.uk. Retrieved 2019-08-16.