The Speaker

As the Council has a directly elected mayor with executive powers, the role of Speaker fulfils many of the ceremonial and public duties traditionally associated with the Mayor.

The Speaker of the Council is a serving councillor elected to the office for one year by fellow council members at their annual meeting.

They chair full council meetings, attend numerous events, welcome visitors to Hackney and preside over citizenship ceremonies.

The Speaker of Hackney is Councillor Sheila Suso-Runge. The Deputy Speaker is Councillor Lee Laudat-Scott.

Professional portrait of the Speaker of Hackney wearing an official robe, smiling at the camera.
Speaker 2024
Professional portrait of the Deputy Speaker wearing an official robe, smiling at the camera.
Deputy Speaker 2024

Events and engagements

To find about any forthcoming events contact the Speaker’s Office.

Invite the Speaker to an event

Whether you are a local community group, school or charity, inviting the Speaker to your event will lend an air of dignity and ceremony. The Speaker will try hard to attend either in person or by sending the Deputy Speaker.

Events which the Speaker attends include presentations of certificates, including citizenship ceremonies, police passing-out parades, religious services, the annual Remembrance Sunday parade, building openings, fetes, concerts, sporting events and civic receptions among many others.

The Speaker also visits schools in the borough to talk about the work of the Council and civic responsibility, and conducts tours of the Council Chamber and the Speaker’s Parlour for community groups.

Nominated charities 2024 to 2025

Each year the Speaker selects charitable causes to support, both by fundraising and by attendance at events. This year the Speaker has chosen to support Hackney Migrant Centre and Rising Tide Trust.

Hackney Migrant Centre

Hackney Migrant Centre (HMC) delivers a free, weekly advice and support service for vulnerable migrants on immigration, housing, welfare and access to health. We support visitors to our service to resolve their immigration problems and move out of homelessness and destitution in the long-term, as well as assisting them to address immediate issues. Most of our visitors lack secure immigration status and are destitute as a result of that and the Hostile Environment. We welcome all migrants, regardless of immigration status, nationality or current place of residence and we support those in need through the provision of free advice on immigration, welfare and health.

Registered charity no: 1122363

● telephone: 07856 632796
● email: info@hackneymigrantcentre

Rising Tide Trust

Rising Tide is an arts charity based in east London focused on helping young people access the music and related industries and offering professional facilities to our local community, creating meaningful employment pathways for 13 to 19-year-olds via workshops, master classes, and professional facilities through our creative hub.

Registered charity no: 1113732

● telephone: 020 8986 3222
● email:

Young Speakers of Hackney –  Martha Newman and Nisa Altun

The two Young Speakers of Hackney are selected from Hackney Youth Parliament members. As well as being a voice for the parliament, they work towards improving the lives of young people in the borough, by championing the youth voice, attending council meetings and working directly with the Mayor and Speaker.

Hackney Town Hall tours

Guided tours of Hackney Town Hall take place regularly. Tours also take place as part of Open House London each year.

Up to 30 people can attend a tour, which also includes a visit to the Hackney Town Hall vaults, a historical display on civic life in the borough.

Please note we hope to resume tours in September 2022. Watch this space.

Hackney Town Hall Open House London virtual tour with 2021 to 2022 Speaker of Hackney Cllr Michael Desmond

Children’s tours

Specialist tours for primary school children are also available. They link in with the citizenship curriculum to help further children’s understanding of democracy. To book a tour for your school please contact us at the details on this page.

See children’s town hall tour worksheet (PDF 3mb)

Page updated on: 17 May 2024

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Speaker's Office
Hackney Town Hall
Mare Street
E8 1EA


Opening times

  • Mon to Fri 9am - 5pm