The Mayor of London is an elected politician who, along with the London Assembly of 25 members, is accountable for the strategic government of Greater London. The current Mayor is Sadiq Khan, who took up office on 9 May 2016. The position was held by Ken Livingstone from the creation of the role on 4 May 2000, until he was defeated in May 2008 by Boris Johnson, who served two terms before being succeeded by Khan.
The Mayor of London directs the entirety of Greater London, including the City of London, for which there is also the ceremonial Lord Mayor of the City of London. Each London Borough also has a ceremonial Mayor or, in Hackney, Lewisham, Newham or Tower Hamlets, an elected Mayor.
The Greater London Council, the elected governance for Greater London, was abolished in 1986 by the Local Government Act 1985. Strategic functions were split off to various joint arrangements. Londoners voted in a referendum in 1998 to create new governance structures for Greater London. The directly elected Mayor of London was created by the Greater London Authority Act 1999 in 2000 as part of the reforms.
The Mayor is elected by the supplementary vote method for a fixed term of four years, with elections taking place in May. As with most elected posts in the United Kingdom, there is a deposit, in this case of £10,000 which is returnable on the candidate's winning at least 5% of the first choice votes cast. The size of the Greater London electorate means that the Mayor has the fourth-largest personal mandate of any directly-elected politician in Europe, after the President of France, President of Portugal and the President of the Czech Republic.
The most recent London mayoral election was held on 5 May 2016. The results were announced on 7 May at 00:30, despite British television news channel Sky News announcing Sadiq Khan as the winner hours earlier. Mr. Sadiq Khan, member of the Labour party, is the first Muslim to be elected Mayor of London.
Incumbent Mayor Boris Johnson did not run for re-election for a third term in office, as he was elected the Member of Parliament for the Conservative Party in Uxbridge and South Ruislip in the 2015 General Election.
|Mayor of London election 5 May 2016 |
|Party||Candidate||1st round||2nd round||
First round votes Transfer votes
|Total||Of round||Transfers||Total||Of round|
|Liberal Democrat||Caroline Pidgeon||120,005||4.6%||
|Women's Equality||Sophie Walker||53,055||2.0%||
|Britain First||Paul Golding||31,372||1.2%||
|One Love||Ankit Love||4,941||0.2%||
|Labour gain from Conservative|
(for political parties)
|Name||Portrait||Term of office||Elected||Political party||Previous and concurrent occupations|
|Ken Livingstone||4 May 2000||4 May 2008||2000||Independent||Technician at the Chester Beatty cancer research laboratory
Leader of the Greater London Council (1981–1986)
MP for Brent East (1987–2001)
|Boris Johnson||4 May 2008||9 May 2016||2008||Conservative||Journalist (editor of The Spectator, 1999–2005)
MP for Henley (2001–2008)
MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip (2015–present)
|Sadiq Khan||9 May 2016||Incumbent||2016||Labour||Human rights lawyer (1997–2005)
MP for Tooting (2005–2016)
Minister of State for Transport (2009–2010)
Shadow Secretary of State for Justice (2010–2015)
Most powers are derived from the Greater London Authority Act 1999 with additional functions coming from the Greater London Authority Act 2007, the Localism Act 2011 and Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011.
The remaining local government functions are performed by the London borough councils. There is some overlap, for example the borough councils are responsible for waste management, but the mayor is required to produce a waste management strategy. In 2010, the Mayor launched an initiative in partnership with the Multi-academy Trust AET to transform schools across London. This led to the establishment of London Academies Enterprise Trust (LAET) which was intended to be a group of ten academies, but it only reached a group of four before the Mayor withdrew in 2013.
|Service||Greater London Authority||London borough councils|
|Leisure and recreation|
Initiatives taken by Ken Livingstone as Mayor of London included the London congestion charge on private vehicles using city centre London on weekdays, the creation of the London Climate Change Agency, the London Energy Partnership and the founding of the international Large Cities Climate Leadership Group, now known as C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. The congestion charge led to many new buses being introduced across London. In August 2003, Livingstone oversaw the introduction of the Oyster card electronic ticketing system for Transport for London services.
They have also included the London Partnerships Register which was a voluntary scheme without legal force for same sex couples to register their partnership, and paved the way for the introduction by the United Kingdom Parliament of civil partnerships. Unlike civil partnerships, the London Partnerships Register was open to heterosexual couples who favour a public commitment other than marriage.
As Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone was also a supporter of the London Olympics in 2012, and is known to encourage sport in London; especially when sport can be combined with helping charities like The London Marathon and British 10K charity races. However, Livingstone, in a Mayoral election debate on the BBC's Question Time in April 2008 did state that the primary reason he supported the Olympic bid, was to secure funding for the redevelopment of the East End of London. In July 2007, he brought the Tour de France cycle race to London.
In May 2008, Boris Johnson introduced a new transport safety initiative to put 440 high visibility police officers on bus hubs, and the immediate vicinity. A ban on alcohol on underground, bus, Docklands Light Railway, and tram services and stations across the capital was announced.
In 2010, Boris Johnson extended the coverage of Oyster card electronic ticketing to all National Rail overground train services. Also in 2010, Boris Johnson opened a cycle hire scheme (originally sponsored by Barclays, now Santander) with 5,000 bicycles available for hire across London. Although initiated by his predecessor, Ken Livingstone, the scheme rapidly acquired the nickname of "Boris Bikes".
In 2011, Boris Johnson set up the Outer London Fund, a money pot of up to £50 million designed to help facilitate better, more effective local high streets. Areas in London were given the chance to submit proposals for two separate pots of money, which would be granted to them if their bid was successful. Successful bids for Phase 1 included Enfield, Muswell Hill and Bexley Town Centre. The recipients of Phase 2 funding are still to be announced.
In January 2013, Boris Johnson appointed journalist Andrew Gilligan as the first Cycling Commissioner for London. In March 2013, Boris Johnson announced £1 billion of investment in infrastructure to make cycling safer in London, including a 15-mile (24 km) East to West segregated 'Crossrail for bikes'.
At the General Election of 7 May 2015, Boris Johnson was elected as MP for Uxbridge and Ruislip South, with 50.2% of the vote on a turnout of 63.4%, and he continued to serve until the mayoral election in May 2016, when Sadiq Khan was elected as his successor.
But because of the processes involved, he won't be technically in office until just after midnight on Monday.