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Greens to call for City of London Corporation to be abolished

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Green Party MEP for London Jean Lambert is calling for the “medieval” City of London Corporation to be abolished.

The City of London is the only local authority in the country to let companies vote in local elections, in proportion to their number of employees, alongside residents. Firms get one vote for every five workers up to 50 and an additional vote for every 50 after that. About 7,300 people live in the City with 350,000 commuting in each day.

She cites this and the century’s old post of City Remembrancer as “anti-democratic”. The Remembrancer has a seat in the House of Commons next to the speaker and has special privileges in viewing legislation as it is drafted.

Lambert says: “The City of London is a mediaeval institution and it helps protect many of the banks and finance houses that have driven the latest worldwide economic meltdown. Abolishing this anti-democratic symbol of all that has gone wrong with banking in the UK is a useful place to start. We need to ensure the banks are motivated by what is good for society and the environment not just their bottom line.”

The City of London Corporation refused to comment on Lambert’s proposal. 

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Comments

There are 4 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. As someone who spends a lot of time in the City (work) and Hampstead Heath (pleasure), my impression is they do a brilliant job. Everything is kept in great condition, is accessible and respects the local history/ environment. If representation is the main concern, shouldn’t we be looking at the UK wide voter participation – I just searched for some number and have London turnout at about 38% (source electoralcommission(dot)org(dot)uk – personally as a business district I think the business’s should have the loudest voice

  2. Companies do not vote in City elections, but can appoint voters. Nobody can have more than one vote and elections are by secret ballot in the normal way.

    The City Remembrancer does not sit next to the speaker. He has access to seat in an under gallery at the other end of, but not in, the chamber. He no more ‘sits’ in the commons than a Japanese tourist in the public gallery or a hack in the press gallery. Draft legislation, or Bills as they are better known, are available on Parliament’s website for anybody to see.

    The City of London has no financial regultory powers or responsibilities and why people like Ms Lambert are so keen to distract attention from the failings of the FSA is a mystery to me.

  3. The Remembrancer has a ‘seat’ behind the speaker but doesn’t physically ‘sit’ behind him. The symbolism is revealing. He is most certainly a lobbyist for the City and has the power to enter the chamber and interrupt debates. See more here: http://www.redpepper.org.uk/confronting-the-city/ and http://www.independentlabour.org.uk/main/2012/09/13/a-tale-of-two-cities/

  4. Dear moderator, I’m not sure why my name hasn’t been included on the comment I submitted at 19:54. There is no anonymity option on this form. Please could you amend? Thanks, Bryn Phillips.

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