Lord Mayor cuts the flummery

FIRST GORDON Brown wore a lounge suit to the black-tie Mansion House dinner; then Lord Irvine asked to abandon the Lord Chancellor's breeches and tights, writes Rachel Sylvester.

Now the Lord Mayor of London has bowed to Cool Britannia and abandoned the centuries-old tradition of wearing a morning coat and badge of office to business meetings.

Lord Levene, who takes over at the Lord Mayor's Show next Saturday, has cut the number of fanfares played by trumpeters at banquets. The ancient ceremony of the "loving cup" - where a goblet of mulled wine is passed round the dinner table - will be limited to specific events.

And the Mayoral fleet of black Rolls-Royce Phantom Sixes is likely to be replaced with less "flashy" vehicles.

Lord Levene will wear traditional "Old Bailey" uniform on ceremonial occasions. "If he goes to a business meeting he will wear a business suit," a Guildhall source said. "He needs to be taken seriously."