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Robathan to be new leader of council

Former City wealth fund manager and big banks adviser takes over from Nickie Aiken

17 January, 2020 — By Tom Foot

Cllr Rachael Robathan, third from right, pictured with Westminster Council staff at the 2019 Ebury Bridge ‘beach day’

RACHAEL Robathan has won the race to replace Nickie Aiken as leader of Westminster Council and is due to be sworn in next week.

The former City wealth fund manager and big banks adviser beat-off stiff competition from the council’s deputy leader, Tim Mitchell.

London Assembly Member Tony Devenish said he was “delighted” by the decision and she was “a fantastic choice” while West End ward Cllr Jonathan Glanz also said he was looking forward to working with her to create the “most efficient and cost-effective services”.

Cllr Robathan has been a councillor for Knights-bridge and Belgravia ward since 2010 and lives close to the House of Lords, where her husband Andrew, Lord Robathan – a former Tory MP and Gulf War army major – has been a life peer since David Cameron’s dissolution honours in 2015.

Since 2012 Cllr Robathan has been a member of the council’s cabinet, overseeing committees on adult social care, health and housing.

Having worked for 20 years in the City, she is the current finance, property and regeneration chief at the council.

She is also the council’s Armed Forces Champion and a governor at Francis Holland School.

Her register of interests include working as a paid consultant and director of the Family Trust, a charity providing Christian educational services to schools in Kent, a board role at the Big Lottery Community Fund and an advisory position at Metro Bank that ended last September.

She is also a non-executive director of the Aurora Investment Trust, an investment company that has featured in recent stock market articles about “how to play the Boris bounce”.

Her only listed accepted gift and hospitality in the past year was “a guest of the CEO of Royal Opera House at a performance of ballet”.

The Westminster Property Association announced her appointment in an email to members yesterday morning (Thursday).

A council statement said: “Councillor Rachael Robathan was appointed as leader of the majority group. The leader of the council will be elected at the next meeting of full council on January 22.”

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