Letter: Emasculated mayor

Sir: I recall that the prime purpose of electing mayors for our major cities, including London, was to devolve greater power to local authorities from central government. This was to engender a new spirit of civic pride, encourage local initiatives on such matters as transport policy and increase accountability to the populations of our cities.

I have therefore become increasingly concerned by the seemingly endless antics of the two major political parties, as they seek to control the candidates eligible for election as Mayor of London. If there is to be this level of central control and interference in advance of becoming elected, what chance is there of a mayor having any significant degree of local autonomy? I shall be voting for an independent candidate, rather than a stooge of the Labour or Conservative party.

JAMES WILLIAMS

London N10

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