28 March 2012
Cameron to establish a Cabinet of directly elected mayors
Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to set up a Cabinet of directly-elected mayors and chair its first meeting.
At a reception to launch the referendum campaign for city mayors, Mr Cameron said: 'A new generation of mayors will enrich our political culture as a whole and I'm 100% enthusiastic about this agenda. Today I announce I will set up a cabinet of elected mayors and chair its first meeting when there are enough of them.'
The Prime Minister said he backed elected mayors for three reasons. The first was accountability as mayors were 'the best answer' to the question 'who do I blame when things goes wrong, who is responsible?' The second was economic as elected city mayors could deal direct with inward investors and 'create economic dynamism' and the third was leadership.
The event was studiously cross-political with speeches from Leicester's Labour elected mayor Sir Peter Soulsby, Lord Shipley, former Liberal Democrat leader of Newcastle City Council and Boris Johnson, London mayor.
Mr Johnson said: 'You need a mayor who can serve as a lightening rod and a contact for those who want to invest.'
Sir Peter Soulsby said; 'If an elected mayor is good enough for our competitors in Europe and North America then it's good enough for us.'