The City of London will have a new Lord Mayor next month, and the man elected to take office believes the City still has a key role to play in the post-Brexit landscape despite concerns from some quarters about the long-term damage of the Leave vote.
Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley was elected to take over from the incumbent Lord Mayor Jeffrey Mountevans at a meeting of masters of the City’s livery companies on Thursday, and will serve a one-year term starting on 11 November.
Dr Parmley, who regularly plays the organ at St James Garlickhythe Church, was on song in his first address as Lord Mayor elect, and said he was “immensely looking forward to representing all that the City can offer” when he dons the famous red robes.
“The City of London is part of the very fabric of the Capital and entire country, as well as being a world-famous institution in its own right,” he said.
“We all recognise that it is an essential part of the UK’s economy: the financial and professional services sector accounts for 2.2million jobs, 11% of GDP and £66 billion in tax revenues.
“During my year in office I will strive to champion and speak up for this industry both domestically and internationally, particularly as the City faces up to the challenges and opportunities that Brexit will pose.”
Unlike most mayoral roles in the UK, the Lord Mayor of the City of London is far from a ceremonial post. From next month Dr Parmley will act as a spokesperson for the City, leading overseas delegations to key international markets on behalf of UK financial, professional and business services.
He will meet with government representatives from around the world alongside business leaders and policy makers to strengthen economic ties, identify new business opportunities and reassure foreign investors that the UK is a top global destination.
“I will also promote the Square Mile’s educational and cultural offer,” he said. The City of London Corporation is proud to support a number of high-performing schools and flagship academies and we are committed to increasing the skills and employability of young people across London.
“We also have ambitious plans to build a world-class Centre for Music and relocate the Museum of London to boost the fantastic arts and culture opportunities in the Square Mile. I am immensely looking forward to representing all that the City can offer as Lord Mayor.”
Dr Parmley has extensive experience in the creative industries, education and music sector, where he has spent a number of years teaching, examining and composing.
He will take office after the Silent Ceremony at the Guildhall on 11 November, with the annual Lord Mayor’s Show taking place the following day.
The Lord Mayor’s Banquet follows on 14 November, also at the Guildhall, where the Prime Minister will make an address.