Letter: Mayor for London

Sir: Liberal Democrats are not opposed to having a mayor or other chief minister figure within a much-needed regional assembly for London (report, 25 September). Blair's proposal, which many Labour leaders in London oppose, is a US or Russian model; either is hardly a ringing endorsement.

It is silly to argue that it is only through self-interest that councillors raise these concerns (Donald Macintyre, 25 September) as both Liberal Democrats and Labour are committed to a strategic authority which does not take powers away from the boroughs.

Blair's proposal raises serious concerns about accountability. It risks further centralising power and patronage. Can one person, without the support of an assembly drawn from across the communities of London, really speak and act for all Londoners?

It is clear that most Londoners want a leader. The media should properly debate the different forms such leadership could take. Londoners risk being sold short by an idea that, while looking like bold reform, is actually an import as poor as the worst of American soap opera.


Chair, London Liberal Democrats

Richmond, Surrey