Covid-19 crisis prompts second term for City Corporation’s Chief Commoner


A senior councillor and former journalist with a historic ceremonial role at the City of London Corporation will serve an extra year in office to ‘ensure continuity’ as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Brian Mooney was elected as Chief Commoner in October last year and took office in April for what would normally be a one-year term in the post – a position which was first created in 1444.

However, at the invitation of the Court of Common Council – the City Corporation’s top decision-making body – he will continue in office until April 2022, subject to formal re-election.

The Chief Commoner, by convention a senior elected Member, acts as an ambassador at ceremonial occasions, works to uphold the rights and privileges of his peers and is responsible for City Corporation hospitality.

Earlier this year, it was announced Lord Mayor William Russell and Sheriffs Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli and Christopher Hayward would also serve an extra year in office to ensure continuity of leadership during the pandemic.

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Mr Mooney said: “I am serving a second term, in line with the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs, in order to ensure continuity through the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It has been an honour to serve in a position steeped in history but with a valuable role in representing the City Corporation, acting as a voice for fellow elected Members and working to uphold the discipline and integrity of the Court of Common Council.

“This has certainly been a challenging time to take on the job and the restrictions imposed on us by Covid-19 mean that in many ways I’ve had to act as the City Corporation’s first ‘Virtual Chief Commoner’.

“The pandemic has been an exceptionally difficult time for the City, as for the rest of London and the UK, and we will face many more challenges as we move from the crisis into the recovery phase.”

Mr Mooney worked as a foreign correspondent and editorial executive for Reuters for 30 years, has published six books and speaks a variety of languages. He was first elected to the Court of Common Council in 1998 to represent the ward of Queenhithe, where he lives.

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