Femy Amin: The Afghan refugee running for London mayor

Femi Amin works in healthcare and came to the UK as a Afghan refugee when she was 15-years-old

Jabed Ahmed
Tuesday 30 April 2024 21:27 BST
Femi Amin is the Animal Welfare Party canidate for London mayor
Femi Amin is the Animal Welfare Party canidate for London mayor (Animal Welfare Party/Femi Amin )

Femi Amin is the Animal Welfare Party candidate for London mayor, who came to the UK as a Afghan refugee when she was 15-years-old.

Ms Amin told The Independent that arriving to the UK as a refugee has greatly shaped her perspective, as she bids to replace Sadiq Khan when Londoners go to the polls on Thursday.

“I’ve grown up displaced and I’ve learned first-hand the importance of resilience and empathy as a refugee,” she said. “When I first moved to the UK, I did not have the right qualifications, and had to balance college with long working hours. I was on the brink of homelessness.

“All these experiences have helped fuel my passion, which is creating a fairer and more compassionate world.”

Ms Amin’s main priority is to oppose all forms of discrimination in the capital, including speciesism, she said.

“I love how diverse London is, and that’s what’s amazing about the city,” the candidate explained. “The diversity and the inclusivity and the acceptance which has, which has really led me to running for mayor,” she added.

“We must take bold action and we need to show that we need to be compassionate as leaders, even if those decisions are difficult.”

Regarding policing and crime, the Animal Welfare Party candidate said there must be a holistic approach.

“We need to build stronger relationships between the Met Police and the communities they serve,” she told The Independent. “I will increase the numbers of police officers on the street, whilst ensuring the recruitment policy focuses on better reflecting the ethnic and gender diversity of the city.”

Ms Amin has set out seven key manifesto pledges:

  • Prioritise the climate and biodiversity crises in all decision-making
  • Save NHS funds, improve human and planet health by promoting and supporting plant-based lifestyles
  • Incentivise public and active transport, improving reliability, safety and affordability
  • Establish an Animal Welfare Committee to increase protection for the millions of animals in the capital
  • Building homes that are affordable and sustainable
  • Oppose speciesism: where wildlife is valued and managed non-lethally, developments in animal-free testing are championed and the sale of foie gras & fur is rejected
  • Dedicate urgently needed space for nature and scrapping the use pesticides and herbicides

She said: “I want the opportunity to leave a legacy of positive change and progress for Londoners. I would expect to be remembered as someone who prioritised the well-being of all the capital’s residents, both humans and animals included, and I would want foster a city that is inclusive, sustainable and resilient.”

You can read Femi Amin’s full manifesto here.

The previous Animal Welfare Party candidate, Vanessa Hudson, received 16,826 votes in the 2021 election.

When is the London mayoral election?

Voters can cast their ballot in person on 2 May, by post or by proxy. Find your nearest polling station here.

Everyone will need to show photo ID at polling stations before they vote.

The results will be announced at City Hall on Saturday 4 May.

Read the full list of candidates here.

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