England & Wales Democracy, devolution and governance

What is the London Assembly?

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Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash

The London Assembly was established in 2000 as part of the Greater London Authority (GLA). It is a 25-member elected body that is responsible for scrutinising the plans and decisions of the Mayor of London. Assembly Member (AM) seats are subject to elections every four years at the same time as the Mayor. Fourteen AMs are elected to represent specific constituencies (covering two or more London boroughs) on a first-past-the-post basis, while the other eleven AMs are elected on a London-wide ticket via proportional representation.

The most recent election was held in 2021 (delayed by a year due to Covid) and resulted in Labour remaining the largest party with eleven members, despite losing a seat. The Conservatives gained a seat with nine members elected, the Greens gained a seat with three members elected, and the Liberal Democrats lost a seat retaining only one elected member. All Assembly seats are up for election on 2 May.

The Assembly is able to overrule the Mayor’s decisions, including the annual budget, and his/her strategic plans, with a two-thirds majority. The Assembly has established twelve committees to scrutinise the decisions and plans of the Mayor, covering GLA responsibilities such as:

  • Housing; Planning and Regeneration;
  • Environment; Transport;
  • Policing and Crime;
  • Health;
  • Fire and Emergency Planning.

The Assembly elects a Chair and Deputy Chair each year. Andrew Boff (Conservative) is the current Chair, and Onkar Sahota (Labour) is the current Deputy Chair. The map below shows the current party split of the London Assembly.

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