'We can all work together when it really matters'

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe arrives at Brize Norton, Oxfordshire

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe arrives at Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, after she was freed from detention by Iranian authorities - Credit: PA

Nazanin’s arrival home after six long years is a ray of light, and gives us all hope that good things do still happen.

Some months after Nazanin’s imprisonment, the Ham&High organised a protest in hopes of bringing Nazanin home for Christmas.

From knitting, to Christmas carolling, Richard’s hunger strikes, protests and decorating trees in Fortune Green, the whole community in West Hampstead never gave up. A local family was facing a deep injustice and the community rightly never stopped hoping and working with Nazanin’s family to bring her home.

This wasn’t just a local story, but a very national one. The local MP, Tulip Siddiq never stopped raising Nazanin’s imprisonment at every turn. In that effort, she was helped by colleagues across the political spectrum. We may live in times of great partisanship, but it's a reminder that we can all work together when it really matters.  

Anne Clarke, Labour Party London Assembly candidate for Barnet and Camden

Anne Clarke says the community of Hampstead never gave up on Nazanin - Credit: Anne Clarke/Labour

Nazanin’s first action after reuniting with her family was to call for the release of Morad Tahbaz shows her dedication to helping others and I do hope he is released very soon. 

It’s with this same spirit that so many Londoners are embracing Ukrainians in crisis.

Not many weeks ago, few would have been familiar with their flag but it now adorns windows, lapels and social media accounts. Donations of clothes and supplies have come in so fast that charities have been overwhelmed, and are now asking for money instead.  

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When the website to register to host Ukrainian refugees went live, it was flooded with offers.

With so many people in London having been born abroad, many fleeing violence themselves, its is only natural that those who have gone through the worst of times in the past should stand up to help those facing extreme violence now. 

We can be proud that Londoners continue to act with selflessness and compassion for those in need.

The best of our city is when we are open, welcoming and tolerant of differences. We must never lose that. 

Anne Clarke is London Assembly member for Barnet and Camden.