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The Mayor’s Office in London. Photo: Patrick Down

In 2000, Londoners voted for the first elected mayor in Britain’s history. The mayor of London and the Greater London Authority were created to fill a gap, the capital having been without a citywide authority since the abolition of the Greater London Council in 1986. Elsewhere, by contrast, elected mayors are being grafted on to a traditional local authority structure in which in the past the whole council was the executive and all councillors in theory enjoyed legislative power. More recently, most councils have been run on a Cabinet system. It is…

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