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A councillor campaigning against sex clubs in Tower Hamlets has been short-listed for a prestigious national award for her work in the community.

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Rania Khan, aged 29, is a finalist in the Young Councillor of the Year category for the C’llr Achievement Awards run by national think thank the Local Government Information Unit.

She was first elected, aged 23, in 2006, as a candidate for the Respect Party, making her one of the first woman councillors in the country.

The Muslim councillor who has always represented Bromley-By-Bow later defected to New Labour and more recently became an independent councillor. She is considered a close ally of Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman, who nominated her for the award.

Recently she has played a leading role in a campaign to change national legislation on lap dancing clubs by fighting for greater powers for councils to grant licences to sex establishments.

Cllr Rania Khan said: “I am thrilled to be nominated and have enjoyed every minute of being a councillor. The work can be tough and demanding, but equally I take great pride in bringing about changes to help residents.”

During her six years as a councillor she has been the Cabinet Member for regeneration and is currently responsible for Culture, as part of Rahman’s cabinet.

According to the council she successfully secured funding to renovate historical buildings including the Grade II listed Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Poplar Baths.

Mayor Rahman said: “Cllr Khan is a great role model for our young residents to emulate. She has been dedicated to engaging with young people and hard to reach groups to empower them to be more involved in local democracy.”

The winners will be announced on February 27.

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