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Andrew Parmley, Lord Mayor of London
Scott Chasserot

Things you only know if you’re Lord Mayor of London

Written by
Danielle Goldstein

…according to Andrew Parmley, 60.

People get confused about your job

‘The difference between Sadiq Khan and me is he’s got strategic responsibility for everything that happens within the M25, whereas my main responsibility is to represent financial services globally on behalf of the UK. But there are even more than two mayors in London, as each borough has a mayor.’

You can only be Lord Mayor for a year, fortunately

‘It’s quite an exhausting role. I’m busy with back-to-back meetings virtually every day at Mansion House, across the country and across the globe. Throughout my 12 months as Lord Mayor I shall spend something like three months abroad visiting 30 countries, so I should think a year is quite enough.’

Some mayoral duties are pretty weird

‘The ceremony when the role transfers from one Lord Mayor to another is called the “Silent Ceremony”. It’s done by dim light on the second Friday in November at 3pm, in total silence. I couldn’t accurately put my finger on why, but there are many quaint pastimes in the City and I think it’s important we celebrate them.’

There’s no pay cheque, but lots of food

‘The Lord Mayor doesn’t receive a salary, but there’s a mayoral allowance. And there are many stakeholders who would like to see you for lunch or dinner, so rather than worrying about groceries, I’m usually wondering how to cope with the amount of food being offered.’

Outgoing Lord Mayors get exiled

‘We call it purdah: for six months I won’t be allowed in the City. You have to stay out of the way of the incoming Lord Mayor so as not to tread on that person’s toes. That’s partly to ensure there’s no confusion as to who is Lord Mayor – one grey-haired chap in a red gown looks pretty similar to another. But you need a rest too.’

Now discover the things you only know if you’re a Network Rail engineer.

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