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A former mayor of Barking & Dagenham borough has resigned from the council with immediate effect to “put her career first”.
Sanchia Alasia has been a councillor for Albion Ward since 2010 and served as the borough’s mayor from 2018 to 2019.
She was the first Caribbean woman to hold the post in the borough’s history.
Councillor Alasia is now leaving her role to take up a job as acting director of equality, diversity and inclusion at London South Bank University.
The former mayor said she was proud to have fought for equality in Barking and Dagenham in her 11 years in the job.
She added that a highlight of her time at the council was taking on and defeating the BNP in local and general elections alongside Margaret Hodge MP, who also announced she would stand down earlier this month.
The councillor also praised the residents and community groups she had worked with down the years, and said she was proud of the investment in infrastructure and community projects she had brought to her ward.
She said in a statement: “While it has been a huge privilege to serve the people of Barking and Dagenham and the Labour Party, I have decided to put my career first for the time being.
“It has been an honour to be part of a Labour council where the borough has changed in such a positive way, despite the challenges of austerity and a Tory government.
“I look forward to being part of that journey, albeit in a different way, in the years ahead.”