Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz takes over as leader of Islington Council

Kaya Comer-Schwartz. Picture: Islington Council

Kaya Comer-Schwartz. - Credit: Islington Council

Kaya Comer-Schwartz has been officially appointed as the Leader of Islington Council at the annual council meeting tonight. (May 20).

Cllr Comer-Schwartz, who was previously deputy leader, has taken over from Cllr Richard Watts.

He announced he would step down as leader in February, and plans to throw in the towel as a councillor tomorrow before he starts work as London Mayor Sadiq Khan's deputy chief of staff on Monday.

Cllr Comer-Schwartz was not challenged by any other councillors in the leadership race, and was named the new leader of Islington Labour Group at its annual general meeting in March.

She said: “I am incredibly proud to be appointed leader of Islington Council, in the borough where I was born and have lived my entire life.

“I would like to thank Cllr Watts for everything he has done for Islington during his time as leader. 

"He has spearheaded some nationally pioneering work that has transformed our borough. 

"On a personal note, I am grateful for the support he has shown me throughout my time as a councillor.

“As leader of the council, I will do everything I can to make Islington the best place to grow up in, with high-quality, innovative schools, services and spaces. 

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"Our borough needs to be a place where young people can be safe and thrive. I will also keep building towards our vision for Islington to be the best place to work and live in; everyone deserves a safe, secure genuinely affordable home and a good, well-paid job. 

"And I will help ensure that Islington is also the best place to grow old in, with a greener, cleaner, healthier borough and top-quality, well-funded social care.

“I love Islington and will continue working hard to make it a fairer place for everyone by improving our borough and inspiring and empowering local people.”

First elected to the council in 2013 to represent Junction ward, Cllr Comer-Schwartz became deputy leader in 2020.

She has served on the council’s executive for six years, most recently as executive member for children, young people and families and prior to that as executive member for community development.