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Find out more about what went into writing London's Mayor at 20 in an exclusive blog written by Jack Brown for the Biteback website.


A few months into the new millennium in May 2000, Ken Livingstone became the first ever Mayor of London. In the succeeding two decades, London has undergone a dramatic evolution under three very different mayors, but how has the mayoralty itself changed? How have the capital’s challenges and crises been overcome? And is the office still fit for purpose?

At a time of tremendous uncertainty for the capital and the nation generally, this ambitious new book marks the twentieth anniversary of the creation of the position of the Mayor of London. It examines how the first three mayors have approached the role with markedly distinct politics, outlooks and styles and how the position has transformed over time to meet the changing needs of the city.

London’s Mayor at 20 combines expert opinion with reflections from those closely involved in setting up, running and working in the mayor’s office. Featuring a foreword by Tony Blair, who played a crucial role in the establishment of the mayoralty, and including interviews with Ken Livingstone and Sadiq Khan, this comprehensive analysis seeks to investigate how the government of London has developed and what the future holds for this modern metropolis. 


'The London mayoralty has helped London thrive into a truly global city and given it its own distinct voice. This vital and timely book offers the opportunity to reflect on how the city we love can emerge stronger from its greatest challenges in a generation.'

David Lammy MP

“At a time when so many people are disillusioned about politics, this book reminds us that real change is possible – as we’ve seen with the impact of successive London mayors. From the congestion charge to Tech City, London has evolved dramatically over the past two decades – and London’s Mayor at 20 tells the story of this transformation in a brilliantly human and compelling way.”

Rohan Silva, former senior policy advisor to Prime Minister David Cameron

“This is the story of how a city became a modern political entity, but it is also the story of the people, forces and events that shaped that process. The authors take us on a journey that covers not just the characters and controversies of London politics but the era-defining events that shaped the city. A timely, candid and stimulating journey through London’s recent past, and one that compels us to consider its future."

Christian May, editor in chief, City A.M.

“The London mayoralty was the most radical innovation in the capital’s government since the LCC. For the first time the political life of the metropolis was embodied in one personality. This study of its creation, strengths and weaknesses is essential reading for anyone who cares about London. It should roll the pitch for a second stage of reform to the capital’s transport, policing, education and health. Where I think some regional mayors are of dubious permanence, London’s is irreplaceable.”

Simon Jenkins, journalist and author of A Short History of London
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  • Hardback, 384 pages
  • ISBN: 9781785906350
  • 24 November 2020
  • £25.00

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  • ISBN: 9781785906367
  • 24 November 2020
  • £20.00

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