This week I told party members, friends and supporters of my decision to resign as the Councillor for Sparkbrook. It has not been an easy decision, but it is one that I have had to make in the interests of my health.
For some time now those close to me have been very aware that I have been battling with health issues. Unfortunately over the past 12 months it has taken a turn for the worse. I have found it increasingly difficult to keep up with my very busy schedule, and to satisfactorily fulfil the commitments that my role demands.
As a result of my worsening health I simply cannot continue to represent Sparkbrook in the way that I think its people deserve.
I was elected as a councillor in 2005, and again in 2010, and I have always felt it was a real privilege to work for Sparkbrook. There are so many examples of initiative and commitment, and so many people who come together to achieve better things for the community.
To all those who I have worked with over the years, and to those who have campaigned, supported and voted for me, I offer my sincere and humble gratitude.
I am proud of our work as Respect Party councillors since 2005; proud that we stood up to the parties of war and big business; and proud of the representation we gave to people who had been let down by the big parties who took them for granted.
For the time being, I have to take a step back and give myself the time and space to concentrate on regaining my health. However, I am not retiring from politics just yet! I still have things to say and - health permitting - I hope to continue with occasional media appearances, writing and public speaking.
I may have been forced to resign as a councillor. But I remain as committed as ever to the struggle for a world free of war, racism and poverty.