New leader for Southwark Cllr group to ensure residents and local business are at the heart of COVID recovery

We are pleased to announce Cllr Nick Johnson has been elected to take over as Leader of the Liberal Democrat Opposition at Southwark Council. This follows Cllr Anood Al-Samerai’s decision to call it time and hand on the baton after 10 incredible years of her leadership in representing the voice of residents.

As well as his key passion for serving residents as a Liberal Democrat councillor in Surrey Docks ward, Cllr Nick Johnson has run various businesses both large and small in the drinks and communications industries. This includes establishing his own local Southwark gin brand - Trinity25. Cllr Nick Johnson will take over immediately from Cllr Anood Al-Samerai who will continue to support her residents in North Bermondsey ward.

Commenting on his new position, Cllr Nick Johnson said:

"I am delighted to be leading our team of hardworking Lib Dem councillors. The next few years will see us working hard at the Council for the health and financial well-being of residents as we recover from the impacts of Covid-19. The Council must help people and local business in their communities first and foremost – not Town Hall chiefs. We will fight to ensure it is the voices of real people heard at the council in the recovery and continue to fight Labour wasting your money on vanity projects and covering up their failure on promises. Our priorities continue to be better and more affordable housing, eliminating crime and taking action on climate change and above all... to build a better borough for our children and children’s children."

Commenting on her time as Leader, Cllr Al-Samerai said:

"It has been a privilege to lead our opposition council group for the last decade. At the last elections in 2018, we increased our number of Liberal Democrat councillors in Southwark and every one of us is dedicated to making the borough a better place for all our residents. I am proud of our record - whether it was reversing youth services cuts or getting empty homes back into use. From saving day centres and nurseries to stopping wasteful council spending, our group has always put the voices of residents first and I know that the team, led by Nick, will continue to do so."

In addition, re-elections were held for the following key Liberal Democrat opposition officers to support the leader with congratulations going to the following:

• Deputy Leader - Cllr William Houngbo

• Chief Whip - Cllr Hamish McCallum

• Group Chair - Cllr David Noakes

Congratulations also go to new Lib Dem Spokespersons - Cllr Humaira Ali (Southwark) for Bermondsey and Old Southwark constituency and Julia Ogiehor (Haringey) for Camberwell and Peckham constituency.

Cllr Nick Johnson added:

"With our new Leadership team in place, all of us look forward to the public elections for London’s councils which are fast approaching in early 2022. As always, we will be working hard to earn more and more residents’ trust across Southwark by building on our long record of achievements in holding Labour to account. Together we aim to increase our Liberal Democrat Councillors to recover Labour’s decade of broken promises and never let another Tory seat back into Southwark. We need a future Southwark administration that will make our borough the best in London and the UK."

Click here to download Press Release