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In Englandmarker, the office of Mayor or Lord Mayor had long been ceremonial posts, with few or no duties attached to it. The most famous example is that of the Lord Mayor of the City of London.

Traditionally mayors and provosts have been elected by town, borough and city councils. Since 2000, several districts now have directly-elected mayors with extensive powers.

See borough status in the United Kingdom for a list of English districts to have a borough charter (and therefore a mayor). The role of the Chairman of a District Council is exactly the same as the Mayor of a Borough Council, and they have the same status as first citizen, after the Sovereign, in their district.


In Englandmarker, where a borough or a city is a local government district or a civil parish, the mayor is elected annually by the council from their number and chairs meetings of the council. Where the mayoralty used to be associated with a local government district but that district has been abolished, Charter Trustees may be set up to provide continuity until a parish council may be set up. Where a parish council has resolved to style itself a Town Council, then its chairman is entitled to the designation Town Mayor, though in practice, the word Town is often dropped

Direct election

In 2000 the Labour government led by Tony Blair passed a local government reform which changed this system somewhat. Several districts in England now have directly elected mayors with real powers and an advisory cabinet to assist them.

Also since 2000, the area of Greater London has had a Greater London Authority headed by a Mayor of London. This is a separate post to the historic and honorific Lord Mayor of the City of London and may be characterised as a strategic, regional, role rather than as anything analogous to previous local government in England.

Lord Mayors

The right to appoint a Lord Mayor is a rare honour, even less frequently bestowed than city status.

Currently, 23 cities in Englandmarker have Lord Mayors:

Birminghammarker, Bradfordmarker, Bristolmarker, Canterburymarker, Chester, Coventrymarker, Exetermarker, Kingston-upon-Hullmarker, Leedsmarker, Leicestermarker, Liverpoolmarker, the City of Londonmarker, Manchestermarker, Newcastle upon Tynemarker, Norwichmarker, Nottinghammarker, Oxfordmarker, Plymouthmarker, Portsmouthmarker, Sheffieldmarker, Stoke-on-Trentmarker, the City of Westminstermarker and Yorkmarker.


The Right Honourable

The Lord Mayors of Londonmarker and Yorkmarker are styled The Right Honourable.

The Right Worshipful

All other Lord Mayors, as well as the Mayors of cities and the original Cinque Ports (Sandwichmarker, Hythemarker, Dovermarker, Romneymarker and Hastingsmarker), are styled The Right Worshipful. Also some historic boroughs, such as Shrewsbury and Atchammarker in Shropshiremarker and the City of Hereford call their Mayors by this prefix.

The Worshipful

All other Mayors are styled The Worshipful. These honorific styles are used only before the Mayoral title and not before the name, and are not retained after the term of office.

Mayoresses and Lady Mayoresses

The wife of a male Mayor is called the Mayoress and accompanies him to civic functions. A female Mayor (sometimes erroneously referred to as "Lady Mayoress") or an unmarried male one may appoint a female consort, usually a fellow councillor, as Mayoress. The consort of a Lord Mayor is the Lady Mayoress.

The Lord Mayor of Bristol uses the prefix without official sanction.

See also


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