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What powers does the Mayor of London have?

The London mayoral election is due to take place on May 6 (Picture: Getty Images)

The people of London will soon head to their nearest polling stations to select their choice for Mayor of London on May 6.

Current Mayor Sadiq Khan is running for re-election and currently leads in the polls ahead of his fellow candidates.

But what powers does the elected mayor actually have?

Here’s all you need to know.

What powers does the Mayor of London have?

Current London Mayor Sadiq Khan is running for re-election (Picture: Aaron Chown/PA) 

Elected every four years, the mayor is responsible for setting the budget to help improve the city of London for its inhabitants.

They have an annual budget of £17 billion, which goes towards investments in public transport, fire services, and policing as well as the work of City Hall.

This budget is raised by a mixture of government grants, transport fares and other charges, business rates and council tax.


Ensuring transport in the city runs smoothly is a chief responsibility of the mayor (Picture: Getty)

One of the principle powers of the mayor lies in the area of transport.

They oversee the operations of Transport for London (TfL), which makes them responsible for the bus and taxi network, the Tube, Overground, Docklands Light Railway (DLR), cable car, and all other TfL services.

The mayor has the power to set fares, to choose who can use London’s roads and to plan cycle routes in the city. They also oversee initiatives such as the congestion charge and ultra low emission zones.

Police and Fire Brigade

While only 30% of the Metropolitan Police budget comes from the mayor, they still have significant power in how the city is policed.

The mayor appoints the Police Commissioner, who is responsible for the day-to-day activities of the Met Police, meaning they have power in how the police force is staffed.

They have similar sway over the Fire Brigade, organising budgets and having approval on the London Safety Plan.

This document outlines the London Fire Brigade’s four-year plan to help make the city a safer place.

How much power does the London Mayor have over how the city is policed? (Picture: Getty)


The mayor has the power to both approve and reject larger house-building projects.

They help determine the affordability of such projects in the city, alongside building developers and local authorities.


While there are limitations to how much direct power the mayor can have over the economy, it is part of their responsibility to make the city an inviting place to do business.

They can help businesses connect with investors and offer incentives for businesses to operate within different areas in the city.

The mayor is expected to have a keen interest in supporting the creative industries of the city as well as its overall culture.

They are responsible for running the London Borough of Culture, which gives a different area of London a £1m grant each year to deliver a programme of activities.

Shaun Bailey is the Conservative party candidate for the mayoral election (Picture: Getty)

Who is running for London Mayor 2021?

There are 20 candidates standing in the election on May 6.

Below is the full list of candidates and the parties they represent as they will appear on the ballot when you go to vote:

  • Shaun Bailey, Conservative
  • Kam Balayev, Renew Party
  • Sian Berry, Green Party
  • Count Binface (formerly known as Lord Buckethead), Independent
  • Valerie Brown, Burning Pink
  • Piers Corbyn, Let London Live
  • Max Fosh, Independent
  • Laurence Fox, Reclaim Party
  • Peter Gammons, UKIP
  • Richard Hewison, Rejoin EU
  • Vanessa Hudson, Animal Welfare Party
  • Steve Kelleher, Social Democratic Party
  • Sadiq Khan, Labour
  • David Kurten, Heritage Party
  • Farah London, Independent
  • Nims Obunga, Independent
  • Niko Omilana, Independent
  • Luisa Porritt, Liberal Democrats
  • Mandu Reid, Women’s Equality Party
  • Brian Rose, Independent

How do I vote for the Mayor of London 2021?

Who will you vote for on May 6? (Picture: Getty)

To be eligible to vote in the London mayoral election 2021, you must live in London, be registered to vote, and be over the age of 18 by May 6.

You can vote at your nearest polling station either in person or by proxy.

While you can no longer register to vote in this election, but you can register to vote in future elections.

For more information on how you can vote, please visit the London Elects website.

MORE: It’s time to consider what makes us English

MORE: Laurence Fox, Count Binface and Peter Gammons tied on 1% in London mayor poll

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