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London Mayoral Candidates: The Role of Accountancy

Earlier this month, the LSCA asked all Mayoral candidates what role they see the accountancy profession playing post pandemic, and what specific actions they would do to support London’s chartered accountants who are critical in the rebuilding of London's economy.

May 2021

As the manifesto of each candidate is available to the public, due to publication limitations, summary responses are shown. No other responses were received other than those that follow.

Luisa Porrit, the Liberal Democrat candidate, noted:

“...London needs a Mayor who supports and champions our world-leading services industries such as our accountancy industry.”

“The way Londoners work has radically changed during the pandemic...remote-working is here to stay...This has significant implications for London’s future with large impacts on TFL’s finances, commuter reliant businesses in central London and London’s office space market…”

Adapting to this dramatic shift in the working habits of Londoners ... will require accurate and granular data on the trends and shifts in the activities of businesses and workers”. Luisa would “work with the accountancy industry to collect this vital data so City Hall would be making informed decisions.” In addition, “...to support the accountancy industry. Luisa would be “an ambassador for our great city on the national and international stage [to] deepen the agreements on services and to secure free movement for more workers. This will make it easier for the accountancy industry to conduct business with European clients.

Finally, Luisa noted: ”the Lib Dems know the accountancy industry already provides a significant amount of apprenticeships so ensuring all young Londoners know about these roles would expand access to the accountancy industry and allow firms to be offering opportunities to the best young talent available.”

Brian Rose, candidate for London Real Party, noted:

“...Accountants face the same challenges as other Londoners: unaffordable housing, a broken transport system, the threat of crime. My manifesto has plans for dealing with these issues but central to them is a revolution in how we fund key services in this city. To ensure a vibrant accounting sector, London needs to ensure there is a vibrant business sector. That means getting London back to work safely, and keeping London at work safely in the months ahead. London needs to play a leading role – the leading role – in the regeneration of the country,...rather than being eclipsed. London will become the case study in how to relaunch a city post-lockdown, and how to do it safely. My plans will directly involve the accounting world. I intend to run ...the city as a proper business, for the benefit of all Londoners... It’s time to put business expertise back at the centre of London’s business plans."

A spokesperson for Renew stated:

"We don't have any policies specifically targeted at Chartered Accountants but Kam Balayev ...will do everything he can to make sure that Brexit doesn't hurt Chartered Accountants or any other sector within the city. If [the accountancy] sector as a whole has specific recommendations... Kam, with his pro Business stance, once elected, will be open to take them onboard [sic]."

Conservative candidate, Shaun Bailey stated:

“While we don’t yet know what the long-term effects of the pandemic will look like, we do know how deeply it has hurt our economy... our city is in the bottom five cities UK cities for high street footfall and investment. If we don’t take action, we risk doing permanent damage to the small businesses that make London special”.

“As Mayor, I will start building an economy that provides opportunity to every resident in every community [and] ...will have a Deputy Mayor for International Trade to travel overseas and market London alongside the UK government’s ongoing trade deal negotiations…”

Neil Hewison FCA, Rejoin EU party 

"...I will create a ‘Brexit Bureaucracy Busters’ office to help smaller firms continue to trade in Europe, combined with a negotiating team to further regulatory diplomacy with our EU counterparts with a focus on the service sector.”

“As a professional in the service sector myself, (and indeed a member of LSCA)... I have worked in many cities across the world and I have seen that success is limited by one key factor: freedom of movement. Without the restoration of this to London, our position as the gateway for services between Europe and the rest of the world is fundamentally weakened."

"The new work-by-zoom philosophy that has developed during the pandemic has seen many professionals re-evaluating the way they work. I myself have taken advantage of new business opportunities in Singapore, Brazil, New York and India and I hope other accountants and professionals are able to do similarly to keep London competitive. However, all these opportunities have critically relied on the ability of colleagues to forge close business relationships in the area, in some cases over many decades previously. Unless new trade deals offer relatively free access to UK citizens and London firms, this will be harder for us than our rivals overseas…”