What does the London mayor and London assembly do?

What does the London mayor and London assembly do?

The mayor of London has one of the largest political mandates in the UK with a budget of more than 20 billion and a constituency of 6.2 million voters.

The job is currently held by Sadiq Khan, who is up for re-election on Thursday 2 May.

The Mayor’s job is to make London a better place for everyone who visits, lives or works in the capital.

Alongside the mayor, there are 25 London Assembly members, who hold the Mayor to account by examining strategies and decisions made by the incumbent.

But what exactly are the powers and responsibilities of the Mayor and London Assembly?

The Mayor of London

London has had a mayor since 2000 after Londoners voted overwhelmingly in favour of an elected mayor and assembly to run the capital.

The move was a part of then Labour prime minister Tony Blair's constitutional reforms and devolution.

The mayor receives a £20.4 billion budget that they use to improve London’s economic and social development.

There have been three London mayors. Labour’s Sadiq Khan is the incumbent and he was first elected in 2016.

It was previously held by Boris Johnson for eight years, and Ken Livingstone before him.

The mayor is given a salary of £154,963. The prime minister, by comparison, is entitled to a salary of £167,391.


The mayor’s responsibilities range from developing policies to setting budgets and overseeing major programmes – all in line with the Mayor’s vision.

One of the mayor’s main responsibilities is Transport. They are responsible for Transport for London (TfL) and have the power to set fares, which is the main source of funding for TfL.

The Congestion Charge and Ultra Low Emissions Zone (Ulez) is also from the mayor’s office.

The second responsibility is policing. The mayor has a “direct mandate for policing in London” and is responsible for deciding on the “strategic direction” of the force.

In the governance structure of the Met, ultimate accountability for the actions and direction of the force is held jointly by the Home Secretary and the Mayor. The Home Secretary appoints the Met Commissioner – the top job in the police force.

Around 30 per cent of the Met's budget comes from the mayor and the rest comes from national government.

In relation to housing, the mayor can set affordable homes targets and work in collaboration with local authorities and developers.

The mayor receives funding from central government to build affordable homes.

Another area of responsibility is supporting London's culture and creative industries. They mayor runs the London Borough of Culture scheme and employs a night czar who supports the capital's nightlife.

What is the mayor not responsible for?

London’s councils, rather than the mayor, are responsible for many of the services Londoners experience day-to-day like council housing, schools, social services, rubbish collection and council tax collection.

Central government leads on the NHS, welfare and most forms of taxation.

What does the London Assembly do?

The London Assembly is made up of 25 Members – 11 represent the whole capital and 14 are elected by London’s constituencies.

Many of them have previously been local politicians or run businesses and charities. For example, the Tory candidate for London mayor, Susan Hall, is a former leader of the London Assembly Conservative group.

Their main power lies in approving or rejecting the mayor's £20.4 billion budget plans, and can make changes when two-thirds of Assembly Members agree.

The Mayor is questioned by the Assembly 10 times a year at Mayor’s Question Time.

They also work on committees which scrutinise the mayor's policies and check if they are working.

The London Mayoral Election 2024

Voters can cast their ballot in person on 2 May, by post or by proxy. Find your nearest polling station here.

Everyone will need to show photo ID at polling stations before they vote.

People will have three votes – one for mayor and two for the London Assembly.

The results will be announced at City Hall on Saturday 4 May.