Mayor of London

This article is about the directly elected mayor of Greater London. For the City of London mayor, see Lord Mayor of London.
Mayor of London
Sadiq Khan

since 9 May 2016
Style No courtesy or style ascribed[1]
Appointer Electorate of Greater London
Term length Four years
Inaugural holder Ken Livingstone
Formation Greater London Authority Act 1999
Deputy Joanne McCartney
Salary £143,911
Website Official website

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 had been held by Ken Livingstone from the creation of the role on 4 May 2000 until he was defeated in 2008 by Boris Johnson, who served two terms before being succeeded by Khan.

The role, created in 2000 after the London devolution referendum, was the first directly elected mayor in the United Kingdom.

The Mayor of London is the mayor of 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 UK, 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.

Most recent election

The most recent London mayoral election was held on 5 May 2016.[2] The results were announced on 7 May at 00:30 despite British TV news channel Sky News announcing Sadiq Khan as the winner hours earlier.

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 [3]
Party Candidate 1st Round % 2nd Round Total  First Round Votes  Transfer Votes 
Labour Sadiq Khan 1,148,716 44.2% 161,427 1,310,143
Conservative Zac Goldsmith 909,755 35.0% 84,859 994,614
Green Siân Berry 150,673 5.8%
Liberal Democrat Caroline Pidgeon 120,005 4.6%
UKIP Peter Whittle 94,373 3.6%
Women's Equality Sophie Walker 53,055 2.0%
Respect George Galloway 37,007 1.4%
Britain First Paul Golding 31,372 1.2%
CISTA Lee Harris 20,537 0.8%
BNP David Furness 13,325 0.5%
Independent Prince Zylinski 13,202 0.5%
One Love Ankit Love 4,941 0.2%
Labour gain from Conservative

List of Mayors

Colour key
(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)
2004 Labour
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[4] 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)

Powers and functions

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 main functions are:[5][6]

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.[7] 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 10 Academies, but it only reached a group of 4 before the Mayor withdrew in 2013.

Service Greater London Authority London borough councils
Education YesY
Housing YesY YesY
Planning applications YesY
Strategic planning YesY YesY
Transport planning YesY YesY
Passenger transport YesY
Highways YesY YesY
Fire YesY
Social services YesY
Libraries YesY
Leisure and recreation YesY
Waste collection YesY
Waste disposal YesY
Environmental health YesY
Revenue collection YesY


Ken Livingstone

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 2003 Livingstone oversaw the introduction of the Oyster card electronic ticketing system for Transport for London services.[8]

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 UK 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 the summer of 2007 he brought the Tour de France cycle race to London.

Boris Johnson

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.[9] A ban on alcohol on underground, bus, Docklands Light Railway, and tram services and stations across the capital was announced.[10]

Also in May 2008, Boris Johnson announced the closure of The Londoner newspaper, saving approximately £2.9 million. A percentage of this saving will be spent on planting 10,000 new street trees.[11]

In 2010 Boris Johnson extended the coverage of Oyster card electronic ticketing to all National Rail overground train services.[12]

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. The scheme gained the nickname of "Boris Bikes" by both Londoners and members of the various media.

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.[13] 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,[14] Muswell Hill[15] and Bexley Town Centre.[16] 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.[17]

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-West segregated 'Crossrail for bikes'.[18]

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%,[19] and he continued to serve until the mayoral election in May 2016, when Sadiq Khan was elected as his successor.


The Mayor of London's salary is £143,911 per year, which is similar to that of a Government Cabinet minister.[20]

See also


  1. "Mayor of London". Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  2. "About London Elects". Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  3. "Official election result declaration, London Elects" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-07-01.
  4. "Sadiq Khan Vows To Be 'Mayor For All Londoners'". Sky News. 7 May 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2016. But because of the processes involved, he won't be technically in office until just after midnight on Monday.
  5. Playing a strategic role in planning | Greater London Authority. Retrieved on 2013-12-06.
  6. What can the Mayor of London actually do?. Full Fact (2012-04-03). Retrieved on 2013-12-06.
  7. The Mayor's Waste Management Strategies | Greater London Authority. (2011-11-18). Retrieved on 2013-12-06.
  8. James Rogers (19 August 2003). "London fare freeze to boost smartcard use". Computer Weekly. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  9. GLA Press Release - New action on transport safety Archived 28 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. GLA Press Release - Plan to ban alcohol on the transport network Archived 13 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. GLA Press Release - Closure of The Londoner newspaper Archived 17 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  12. Oyster Oyster pay as you go on National Rail Archived 27 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. "Outer London Fund". Archived from the original on 24 December 2011.
  14. "Successful Outer London Bids". Archived from the original on 30 January 2012.
  15. "Will Muswell Hill have a Town Square?". My Muswell. 23 December 2011.
  16. James Cleverly (5 August 2011). "Bexley Outer London Fund". Archived from the original on 25 September 2011.
  17. Andrew Gilligan appointed 'Cycling Czar' by mayor Johnson. BikeRadar (2013-01-28). Retrieved on 2013-12-06.
  18. "'Crossrail for bikes' set for London". BBC News. 7 March 2013. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  19. "Uxbridge & Ruislip South". BBC website.
  20. Greater London Authority - Annual Budget Archived 11 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
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