Women’s advocate Sue Langley elected Aldgate alderman


Sue Langley will serve as alderman for the ward of Aldgate, claiming victory in Thursday’s election over incumbent Peter Hewitt.

It was a landslide victory for the non-executive director of insurance firm A.J Gallagher and former director of Lloyd’s of London, who polled 174 votes over Mr Hewitt’s 54 in the ballot on 12 July.

Her election will be hailed as yet another win for diversity campaigners following criticism over the gender balance in the City’s Court of Aldermen and Court of Common Council.

There are just three female aldermen currently serving in a court of 25, while just under a quarter of the common councillors are women.

But it would seem the balance has shifted twice in as many weeks, following the election of Emma Edhem as Candlewick alderman on 7 July.

Ms Langley, who is a member of the government’s Women’s Business Council and was granted an OBE in 2015 for services to women in business told City Matters that it was time for a shake-up in the City’s elected representatives.

“I understand what makes a business and a community work and my career spans retail, consulting, government and financial services,” she said.

“But perhaps more importantly, I’m not your typical candidate. I was born in the East End, I was the first person at my local school sent to university.

“The Corporation needs diversity of thought, background and approach. It needs to reflect the brilliant society that we live in.”

Ms Langley also that said more vocal role models were required and look at people’s motivations for standing for local government.

“Often a company will try and coach an individual to fit their current model, rather than change that model to make sure it appeals to diverse groups – change the thing, not the person.”

City councillors were quick to offer their congratulations, with Bishopsgate councillor Tom Sleigh tweeting: “Interesting to note that in every Aldermanic election contested by more than just men this year (2 out of three), the female candidate has won!”