Party Awards: Cllr Anood Al-Samerai: Embodying liberalism, fighting tenaciously with kindness

We conclude our series celebrating this year’s party award winners with Southwark’s Anood Al-Samerai who won the Patsy Calton Award, set up by Liberal Democrat Women to recognise exceptional women. You can watch the video of the whole party awards segment here and the submission made by Anood’s nominees is under the cut.

Cllr Anood Al-Samerai is an inspirational leader who for the last 20 years has embodied Liberalism through fighting tenaciously yet with kindness for her community, running Simon Hughes’ MP office (8 years) and bridging superbly with the ruling Liberal Democrat Council group, becoming a local councillor (13 years as the Member for Riverside ward, now North Bermondsey ward, and still going), leading Southwark Liberal Democrats and the subsequent Opposition Council group through intensely rough times from Coalition forward, giving Labour merry hell at every opportunity. She has shamed Labour into reversing cuts to critical youth services, has led campaigns and manifestos in which Labour routinely steal at least 60% of the ideas and as the current Labour council leader leaves office, he praised her as a worthy opponent and sparring partner who would make an excellent parliamentarian.

Whilst incredibly impressive in leadership and elected roles, what sets Anood above the bar is that she has proactively worked tirelessly to build both the Southwark party and the wider Liberal Democrat party, focus on and nurture women and minorities to stand for election at all levels and across the country, run local and general election campaigns (including our famous 2018 campaign in which we reversed the post coalition decline against the odds), dived in to get the job done (especially when others are spinning on the spot or in one case when the trainers didn’t show up!), campaign around the country for brilliant candidates, fundraise and all whilst managing a day job, and most recently, her beautiful son Benjamin.

Most of all, no matter what she has on her plate, and she has the capacity and capability to juggle a lot, she is always looking for the positive and never complains. As much as people warmly talk about Simon [Hughes], her constituents speak fondly of her, and many recognise the service she has given over the years helping thousands of people. She is a role model to many in the party and in gaining testimony from members, there are common themes of brilliant, hard working, positive, passionate and Liberal!

She was born in Kuwait to an Iraqi father and English mother. On returning to London following the invasion, she attended school in Lewisham and was the first ever student to obtain entrance to Oxford where she studied PPE. Her story has always been one of proactive involvement, bringing people together and paving the way for Liberals to be elected at all levels. She was recognised from the start as a rising star and has always served with humility and inclusivity. We nominate Anood at this time as she steps down from leading the opposition at Southwark Council to honour this amazing and inspirational woman who has done more for Liberalism recently in inner London than most.

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2 Comments

  • Gary Glover 17th Oct '20 - 7:52am

    Absolutely concur with What Ruth and your endorsement in the comments above, but would go further she was is a true advocate for fighting the injustices for people in Bermondsey and the wider southwark area , so many people have been helped, picked up off the floor over the last decade it’s impossible to know the real impact she has had on people’s lives. God bless and hope what Anood does in the next chapter is as equally fulfilling.

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