Labour and Tories in mayoral Christmas truce
Westminster to get its first ever Labour mayor
14 December, 2018 — By Max Aitchison
New mayor Ruth Bush: ‘It’s long over-due’
WESTMINSTER is set to elect its first Labour Lord Mayor after a “historic agreement” was reached between the council’s Conservative leader and Labour opposition group.
Labour councillor Ruth Bush will take over from the current mayor, Conservative Lindsey Hall, in May 2019.
Labour has for several years demanded that the ruling Tory administration allow one of its councillors to be mayor for a year.
Cllr Bush, who was first elected to Harrow Road ward in 2005, said the change was down to a shift in political outlook at the top of Westminster Council.
“The minority party Labour group has been putting pressure on them to do it for all the years that I’ve been a councillor,” she said.
“I think it’s long overdue but we are all very grateful and glad that it’s happening. It’s crucially the change of leadership on the council. Cllr Nickie Aiken does take a different view. I think she’s more of a one-nation Conservative.”
The deal has been agreed by the council leader and the leader of the Labour group, Adam Hug.
Cllr Hug said: “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.”
When the City of Westminster was created in 1965 the first mayor was Sir Charles Norton.
The Lord Mayor traditionally undertakes ceremonial and civic duties on behalf of the citizens of Westminster.
Cllr 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.”