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Islington Council announces UK’s first Migrants Champion

Cllr Sue Lukes

Cllr Sue Lukes

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Islington Council has appointed Cllr Sue Lukes as its Migrants Champion, in what is thought to be the first-ever post of its kind in the UK.

Cllr Lukes will work to ensure that all Islington’s communities benefit from the energy, creativity and resilience that migrants can bring to the borough. She will work to help migrants to connect with local services, ensure they are considered in council policy and that migrant voices are heard.  

Cllr Lukes has worked with migrants and refugees and their communities for over 40 years.  Born in Islington, to a father who arrived on the Kindertransport, she has lived on the Quadrant estate since 1981. She has worked with many local and national voluntary organisations on migration and housing issues, and now directs a social enterprise advising local authorities across Europe on “making migration work for all the communities involved”. Cllr Lukes also chairs Music in Detention, which she helped found.

Cllr Lukes said: “I am delighted to be appointed as the council’s first Migrants Champion but also proud that Islington is a borough with thousands of migrant champions, a community that has stood up to the “hostile environment” and defended its neighbours, friends and families against those who would discriminate, harass or exclude.  Our council represents that and has become a leader in the field, so part of my role will be to promote this best practice across the UK. 

“I will work to ensure that migrants in Islington are heard, are considered, and have as much assistance as we can give them in the many ways that the council interacts with residents.  And I will work with colleagues to challenge this government’s “hostile environment” and other counterproductive policies”.