Councillor Peray Ahmet elected new leader of Labour-run Haringey Council

The UK has its second council leader of Turkish Cypriot origin after Councillor Peray Ahmet mounted a successful leadership challenge against the current head of Haringey Labour Joseph Ejiofor.

Ahmet beat Ejiofor – the leader of  Haringey Council leader since 2018 – by a single vote, according to a report in local newspaper Ham and High.

The election took place at the group’s Annual General Meeting on Monday night, 10 May.

A third leadership candidate, Cllr Mike Hakata, withdrew, and was instead voted in as Haringey Labour’s new deputy leader, replacing Cllr Dana Carlin.

An official announcement has yet to be made, but a formal handover at the North London council is expected later this month.

London-born Ahmet, whose family roots hail from Ozanköy / Kazafani, North Cyprus, becomes the second woman of Turkish Cypriot Muslim heritage to run a British council.

She follows in the footsteps of fellow Labour councillor Nesil Caliskan, who has been leader of neighbouring Enfield Council since 2018.

Labour stand in North London (l-r): Ajda Ovat, Gulfer Gelener, Peray Ahmet, Ajda’s son, Sadiq Khan holding Peray & Gulfer’s daughter Safiye, 05 May 2021. Photo © Ajda Ovat


A lifelong Labour supporter and activist, Ahmet has been a councillor since 2014. She has held several senior posts at Haringey Council, including Chair of Planning, and a Cabinet Member for the Environment, Adult Care, and more recently Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

By day, the 45-year-old married mother of one is a trade unionist, serving as the Unison branch secretary for Merton Council.