Westminster is set to have its first ever Labour Lord Mayor after a historic agreement by the council’s Leader Cllr Nickie Aiken and Leader of the Labour Group Cllr Adam Hug.
Ahead of the annual meeting of the council in May 2019 when a new Lord Mayor for the City of Westminster is elected, it has been agreed between both political parties – Conservatives and Labour – that only one nomination will be put forward.
The Labour Group in Westminster will put forward Cllr Ruth Bush, and following a decision by the Conservative Group, they will not put up a candidate. Cllr Bush, who represents Harrow Road Ward, was first elected to Westminster Council in 2005. Currently Cllr Lindsey Hall is serving as the Lord Mayor in Westminster.
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.”
Leader of the Labour Group in Westminster, Cllr Adam Hug, said:
“The Labour Group and I warmly welcome this important step forward in the civic life of our city. By taking the role out of partisan politics, now and in the future, we can help ensure that the Lord Mayor becomes a unifying position representing all our communities in Westminster.
“Ruth will be a committed and compassionate first citizen working on behalf of all Westminster residents. I'm delighted for her and excited about what she will bring to the role of Lord Mayor."
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, it had its first Lord Mayor – Sir Charles Norton.
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 and chair all Full Council meetings.
In addition, the Lord Mayor traditionally undertakes the following duties: