Patricia McAllister has been elected as Lord Mayor of Westminster for the coming year.
Cllr McAllister, who has represented Queen’s Park ward on the council since 2009, was elected unanimously by councillors at the annual meeting on Wednesday night.
She took over from outgoing Lord Mayor Hamza Taouzzale who was the youngest person to hold the office, first created for the city in 1965.
McAllister, who has lived in Westminster for over 50 years but is proud of her Scottish roots, said it was an honour to be elected Lord Mayor and that the role for her would be much more than just about the ceremonial robes.
She said: “It is an honour and a privilege to be elected Lord Mayor of Westminster. I am looking forward to meeting as many local communities as possible, from right across our amazing city, and to thank them for the amazing work they do.
“What has always struck me about Westminster is its culture. There’s a special power when people come together from so many walks of life.
“A lot of wisdom has been shared about what to expect during the mayoralty, and I know it is far more than wearing the robes and chains and participating in formal ceremonies. It’s also about representing Westminster’s values and aspirations and being mindful of the needs of others.”
Cllr McAllister is the first woman to take the position since Ruth Bush in 2019. Her chosen charities are The Carers’ Network and The Passage, which provides support for rough sleepers. An advocate for the local community, she notably helped set up the North Paddington Food Bank.
Explaining her choice of charities, she said: “I have chosen the Carers’ network because of the extraordinary work they do to support those who care for loved ones out of selflessness, often neglecting their own needs.
“During visits to school it is astonishing to learn how difficult life can be for the youngest carers who have to care for family members often before they leave for school.
“Caring for those most vulnerable is also at the heart of my second charity. For more than 40 years, The Passage has been a strong Westminster organisation providing genuine practical support for people experiencing homelessness. We are a rich city, yes. But it is important to remember the significant challenges that are faced by many of our residents.
“Both charities cater for different needs but they are about caring for those who need it most, which is what will underpin my year as Lord Mayor.”
Image: Westminster City Council.