Unmesh Desai

Barking & Dagenham, City of London, Newham, Tower Hamlets

Responsibilities for 2020-21

  • Chair, Police and Crime Committee
  • Member, Budget and Performance Committee
  • Member, Health Committee
  • Member, Economy Committee
  • Member, GLA Oversight Committee

Key issues

Political Interests

Before being elected Unmesh worked as a criminal defence lawyer for a human rights firm, a researcher in police and crime issues in local government, and for a pioneering civil rights organisation campaigning for police accountability.

On Newham Council he was the first Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. He was a member of the Council’s Cabinet from its inception in 2002 and was responsible for Community Affairs until 2010. He then took on responsibility for Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour until 2016.

Unmesh is a past Vice Chair of the Local Government Information Unit, an Executive Member of Liberty and was a member of the London Labour Party Regional Board for a number of years.

Other Interests

Unmesh is a member of GMB, the Labour Party, the Co-operative Party and the Fabian Society.

He is a trustee of the West Ham United Foundation, Ambassador for the Newham Cricket Club, Patron of Vallance Community Sports Association, and a Patron of the Policy Forum for London.


London Assembly Member (GLA), City and East    2016 - Present
Councillor, London Borough of Newham    1998 - 2018
Political Officer, Newham GMB     2014 - Present