As the dust settles on the general elections I thought it would be good to take a look at the crop of civic leaders that have made it into parliament.
Former Mayors stepped up to the ballot box in the four corners of the nation, from Birmingham to Yorkshire, from London to Cheshire. They all attempted to use their time in office as a springboard for greater political heights.
This blog salutes them all. While many stood only a few can be chosen. Here are the ones that became Mayors in Parliament.
One of the big winners on the night was last year’s Mayor of Warrington. Faisal took the Warrington South from the sitting MP with a 9.3% swing.
Faisal used his active and effective year as Mayor to propel himself into the minds of his constituents. His civic programme that focuses on community cohesion and economic growth, obviously went down well with local voters.
Faisal is an excellent example of what a great platform being a civic leader can provide.
Meg Hillier set herself apart as one to watch when she completed an impressive term as Mayor of Islington in 1998. She followed it up by becoming MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch at the 2005 election.
Her parliamentary CV includes various positions within the Labour Government. In 2015, she was elected Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee transforming her into her one of the most prominent back benchers in parliament.
She retained her seat with an increased majority.
Karen Lee was Mayor of Lincoln for the civic year 2012-13. Remarkably she was only the 12th female mayor in the office’s 806-year history.
The years of campaigning and serving her community are a huge part of Karen’s success, but the wider recognition that comes from being a civic leader must have helped. Delivering a Christmas address to 2,000 people in Lincoln Cathedral is a great platform. In the same way, the skills she developed while in office will have been invaluable on the road to Westminster.
Karen took the Lincoln seat from the current MP with a 1,500 vote majority.
When Tanmanjeet was elected as Mayor of Gravesham he became the youngest Sikh ever to hold a Mayoral office. His dynamic and fruitful year established him with a reputation within his community and his party.
He stood in his home town of Gravesend in the 2015 election but this time round he secured the nomination for Slough, the town of his birth. He becomes one of two Sikh MPs along with Preet Gill the country’s first female, Sikh parliamentarian.
He won the seat by almost 17,000 votes.
Former Lord Mayor of Belfast, Gavin Robinson, beat another former Lord Mayor of Belfast, Naomi Long. Gavin retained the seat he won from Naomi in 2015.
One of the strengths of Northern Ireland is the way it produces some really great mayors. Maybe that’s because the best people want to become civic leaders because they see it as a great launch pad for a seat in the assembly or even parliament.
In East Belfast being Lord Mayor has proved a valuable springboard for Gavin who increased his majority.
Terence spent the last year as the youngest mayor in the country and now he’s followed it by fighting for a seat in Parliament at just 20, although Eli Aldridge, the 18 year old candidate in Westmorland and Lonsdale, makes Terence look positively past it.
True he didn’t make it this time but he did increase his party’s share of the vote by 5.8%. I have feeling we might be hearing more form Terence. Imagine how good he’ll be when he’s finished his degree in politics.
Maybe there are more?
Have I missed any Mayors in Parliament? And no, I don’t count Boris Johnson. If you know of any more leave a comment or drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org. I love to hear about successful former civic leaders.