Lord Mayor: London must not be cast as the villain of our national story

The 694th Lord Mayor of the City of London, Nicholas Lyons, will give a speech at the London Government Dinner at the Mansion House tonight.

Addressing an audience of senior figures from London Government, he will speak alongside London leaders including the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

An extract from the Lord Mayor’s speech is found below.

For too long, London has been cast as the villain in our national story: sucking the life and wealth out of regions like an evil fairy godmother on a quest for eternal beauty.

But the capital is one of the most unequal places in the country and London needs levelling up as much as anywhere else in the UK.

At the same time, the capital also has a critical part to play in making that vision a reality.

Home to a young, international population and leading financial and cultural institutions, London makes a huge contribution to the UK not just via the taxes it collects but also by the investment it attracts and the projects and industries it funds. For example, a Leeds company was contracted to prepare the city’s sewer networks for the new Elizabeth Line and its trains were built in Derby.

With a strong London presence and fast-growing clusters across the UK, the financial and professional services sector I represent is a significant driver of jobs and prosperity. In the decade to 2020, all UK regions and nations saw the value of their FPS output grow by between 15 and 49%. And, today, two-thirds of the 2.3 million people who work in the UK FPS sector are based outside of London.

A strong Square Mile – and strong FPS sector – will only support levelling up across the UK. And as Lord Mayor, I will make sure the City delivers for our country, when it needs us most, through my theme, ‘Financing our Future’.

Those of us working in London government must continue to speak out for what our capital needs, to ensure ‘levelling up’ doesn’t leave London behind and to create the conditions that will allow the City to drive investment and growth for the whole UK.

If we get this right, we can create a stronger, fairer capital within a more prosperous, more equal UK.

The Lord Mayor will discuss plans that the City of London Corporation submitted to Parliament late last year to relocate its historic Billingsgate and Smithfield markets to a purpose-built site in Dagenham Dock which will bring around 2,700 new jobs to the area.

He will also highlight a proposed private sector UK future growth fund of at least £50 billion to invest in long-term asset classes.

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