Principal officer of the Corporation of the City of London. The Lord Mayor, who needed be a freeman of the City, a liveryman, and an alderman at the time of their election, was nominated by the liverymen of the City Companies and elected by the Court of Aldermen to hold office for one year. However, the first elections for the position were held in 2000, making the position one which is democratically elected by the citizens of London. The Lord Mayor attends every civic and ceremonial function in the City and is regarded as the dispenser of the hospitality which frequently devolves upon the Corporation. The first elected mayor was Ken Livingstone, who stood as an independent candidate and pledged himself to be the spokesperson for the people of London.
The first recorded mayor of London was Henry FitzEylwin, who held the office for about 25 years until his death in 1212. The right to elect their mayor annually was granted to the citizens in 1215 by King John. The term ‘Lord Mayor’ was used intermittently during the 13th–mid-16th centuries and after 1545 it became the regular title.
During their term of office lord mayors of London are, ex officio, a member of the Privy Council; they summon and preside over the several courts and meetings of the Corporation; they are the chief magistrate of the City, one of the custodians of the City seal, and, by tradition, hold several ancient offices; for instance, they are the head of the City lieutenancy, admiral of the Port of London, and a trustee of the fabric of St Paul's Cathedral.