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Havering’s London Assembly member, Roger Evans says farewell to the job

07:00 17 March 2016

Met Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan Howe visited MyPlace in Harold Hill. Deputy Mayor Roger Evans

Met Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan Howe visited MyPlace in Harold Hill. Deputy Mayor Roger Evans

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Havering’s representative on the Greater London Assembly for 16 years said he is “saddened” to leave City Hall, but is looking forward to having more time on his hands... possibly.

Roger Evans is stepping down from his position in May, but the politician doesn’t foresee many gaps in his calendar.

He said: “I have really enjoyed my time on the London Assembly.

“I’ve been here since the beginning and watched London transform during that time.”

Roger became deputy mayor in May 2015 and said he has been “privileged” to hold the role, adding it helped him in his campaign to improve outer London.

He said: “One of the things that was true when I first started was that residents didn’t see themselves as Londoners and why would they?

“They had an Essex postcode and didn’t feel connected to the inner city.

“Part of my work has been helping people connect with London government, which is something I am very proud of.

“I’m pleased to have pushed for Crossrail – it has grown from an idea which was first discussed when the London Assembly began, and now citizens in Havering will be among the first to benefit from it.

“My only regret is that I won’t hold this role when it starts running, but I’m sure I’ll be among the first to try the line out.”

During his political career, Roger was occasionally mistaken for satirist Ian Hislop, who edits the political magazine Private Eye and appears on BBC show Have I Got News For You.

He said: “Once in a pub in Elephant and Castle, a man came over to say that he was my biggest fan, which I thought was a bit strange.

“It turned out that he had mistaken me for Ian Hislop, and he didn’t totally believe me when I assured him that I wasn’t, even after I refused the offer of a drink.

“Ten minutes later, some journalism students came into the pub and started filming on the next table, which then made him absolutely certain that I was Ian Hislop!”

After he steps down, Roger plans to coach people in public speaking after a “lifetime” of experience, which began at Waltham Forest Council in 1990.

He said: “When I started at the council, I could stand up and speak in public, without any hesitance and that has been very useful throughout my whole career.

“Now I’d like to help other people, especially politicians and business leaders, to appear more confident in public.

“If I have any time left, I would like to travel more, and see the different transport used in cities – especially Rio, although I’d like to go after the Olympics when it’s not so busy.”

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