This post was first published by Croydon Advertiser on 06/04/2018.
More than 20,000 people have signed a petition demanding that everyone in the UK can vote to decide who London’s mayor is
They say that what happens in London affects other towns and cities enough for voting laws to be changed.
More than 20,000 people have asked for all UK residents to be able to vote for who the Mayor of London is.
The petition, which is addressed to the UK Government, states: “The whole of the UK should be allowed to vote on who becomes mayor of our capital city, as what happens in London also affects the outer towns and cities.”
Currently, only those living in London’s 32 boroughs are offered a vote for the position.
The Goverment has said only Londoners can vote for the mayor because the mayoral position exists for the benefit of Londoners, and that it does not plan to extend voting.
Once a petition has 10,000 signatures, the government must respond.
Its response to the petition, from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, reads: “Government has no plans to extend voting on election for Mayor of London to the electorate of the United Kingdom; the current arrangement provides for accountability at the appropriate level, through appropriately-focused local democracy.
“A London Mayor whose electoral mandate comes from the whole nation may seek to serve the interests of voters in the UK as a whole, rather than those of Londoners.
“If elected by the UK voters as a whole, mayor would no longer be representative of the city the mayor is elected to govern.”
What is the Mayor of London responsible for?
According to the London Assembley website, the Mayor of London’s duties are:
- Setting an overall vision for London
- Creating plans and policies for arts and culture; the enviornment; businesses and the economy; health and safety; housing and land; the London Fire Brigade; planning policies; policing and crime; transport; sport and regeneration.
- Championing Londoners
- Offering a voice to London residents both at home and abroad
However, if 100,000 people sign a petition, it then must be debated in parliament – a move which may yet happen.
The role of the Mayor of London is currently filled by Labour politician Sadiq Khan, chosen during the 2016 mayoral election.
A term in office for the Mayor is four years, meaning the next London mayoral election will be held on May 7, 2020.