The City of Westminster is set to have its first ever Labour Lord Mayor after an agreement by the council’s Conservative and Labour Groups.
Ahead of the annual meeting of the council which elects a new Lord Mayor, both groups have agreed that only one nomination will be put forward. The Labour Group will nominate Cllr Ruth Bush, which the Conservative Party will not contest. Cllr Bush will resultantly become Lord Mayor; the first time that a Labour Councillor will have held the role.
Cllr Bush, represents Harrow Road Ward. She was first elected to the Council in 2005. The current Lord Mayor is Cllr Lindsey Hall, who represents Abbey Road Ward.
Leader of Westminster City Council, Cllr Nickie Aiken, said:
“I recognise that the Mayoralty is a civic not a political role, so I feel it’s important the Lord Mayor represents all of Westminster’s residents as part of our commitment to build a city for all. That’s why the Conservative Group has taken this historic decision not to put forward a candidate for the next Lord Mayor and work across the two political parties to further modernise the Mayoralty in Westminster.
“Ruth is a dedicated local councillor for her residents and an asset to Westminster – she’s perfect to take on this important role.”
The Lord Mayor of Westminster is the ceremonial, non-partisan and non-executive First Citizen of Westminster. They are elected annually from among Westminster’s councillors. The Lord Mayor chairs all Full Council meetings.
Westminster has had an elected mayor since its creation as a Metropolitan Borough in 1900. When the borough became the City of Westminster in 1965, following the 1963 Local Government Act, it had its first Lord Mayor – Sir Charles Norton.
In addition to chairing Full Council meetings, the Lord Mayor traditionally undertakes the following other duties:
- Celebrating the achievements and supporting Westminster’s citizens and communities;
- Promoting Westminster locally, nationally and internationally
- Representing Westminster at civic and ceremonial events.