Mayoral Musical Chairs As Everyone Goes To Westminster

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 46 months ago
Mayoral Musical Chairs As Everyone Goes To Westminster

Photo by LaTur from the Londonist Flickr pool

Does anyone want to run London? Not only is Boris Johnson buggering off to Parliament via Uxbridge in May, his deputy Victoria Borwick has been selected to stand as the Conservative candidate in the very safe seat of Kensington.

We're all widely expecting Boris to resign as Mayor in November — he's insisting he'll do both jobs until the mayoral election in May 2016, but if there's any chance of a leadership contest within the Tory party, or a cabinet post (depending on how the general election turns out), nobody will be surprised if he drops City Hall as soon as he can. He'd probably do it sooner, except there's the small matter of triggering an expensive by-election if he goes before 5 November. After that date the job of running London should fall to his statutory deputy... but what if she also decides she can't do both jobs?

The Conservatives on the London Assembly have a bit of a quandary. The most qualified and experienced among them are all clearing off to safe Tory seats in May — Kit Malthouse is standing in North West Hampshire and James Cleverly is standing in Braintree — limiting still further the options for reshuffling the system should Johnson want to pre-emptively appoint a new deputy. So perhaps you should start boning up on Gareth Bacon, Steve O'Connell, Richard Tracey, Tony Arbour, Roger Evans or Andrew Boff. They might be in charge for six months.

In the, frankly bizarre, situation of both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor resigning or being otherwise unable to do their jobs, the role of Mayor of London falls to the Chair of the Assembly — currently Conservative Roger Evans, but the Assembly elects a new Chair every year. Previous Chairs have been Jennette Arnold (Labour), Dee Doocey (Lib Dem) and Darren Johnson (Green). You'll notice a nice, friendly pattern of rotating the party in charge. It's probably the turn of the Greens again, next. So much for democracy in action.

Last Updated 16 March 2015