The Mayor of London has today announced that Val Shawcross CBE will be retiring as London’s Deputy Mayor for Transport. Val will be stepping back from full-time public life after 18 years at the GLA.
Sadiq Khan paid tribute to Val for her exceptional service to Londoners, as Leader of Croydon Council, then as a London Assembly Member for 16 years, including eight years as chair of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, and as Deputy Mayor for Transport since 2016. He recognised the deep expertise she has brought to the Mayor’s office and the GLA overseeing London’s transport network.
The Mayor is also announcing he is appointing Heidi Alexander MP as Val’s successor as Deputy Mayor. A previous Deputy Mayor of Lewisham and member of London Councils’ Transport and Environment Committee, Heidi has been MP for Lewisham East since 2010, and was Shadow Secretary for Health.
Val will retire in the summer, with Heidi taking over. In law it is not possible for Heidi to be both Deputy Mayor and an MP, so she will stand down as a MP before taking up her post. Sadiq also in due course intends to nominate Heidi to succeed Val as the Deputy Chair of Transport for London.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I want to thank Val for the exceptional service she has given to London as an Assembly Member and Deputy Mayor – and for her personal friendship. Val is hugely respected by politicians from all parties and her deep expertise on transport in London has made life better for millions of Londoners – whether making our public transport network more accessible and affordable, delivering huge projects such as the Elizabeth Line, or improving TfL as an organisation.
“I’m delighted that Heidi Alexander has agreed to become our new Deputy Mayor for Transport. Heidi knows this city inside-out, and her work both as Shadow Health Secretary and campaigning over the best Brexit deal has demonstrated the terrific job she will do as part of my team standing up for London.
“Heidi is respected across the political divide as a parliamentarian and campaigner, and Londoners can be confident she will ensure we deliver our ambitious plans to transform London’s transport network over the coming years.”
Val Shawcross CBE said: “It’s been a huge honour to work as Deputy Mayor for Transport under Sadiq’s leadership, working with colleagues at the GLA and TfL to make our city a better and fairer place for every Londoner. Working as an Assembly Member and then Deputy Mayor, I hope I’ve played my part ensuring our city has a high-quality, affordable and accessible transport network that serves the needs of every Londoner, whatever their background.
“After more than 18 years at the GLA, and having steered through the Mayor’s Transport Strategy and five-Year Business Plan, now is the right time for me to stand down. There’s so much I want to do with my husband and my family, and this will give me the time and space to do so.”
Heidi Alexander MP said: "I am really excited to be joining Sadiq and the team at City Hall. Val is going to be a hard act to follow but I can't wait to get started.
“After eight years as the Member of Parliament for Lewisham East and six years as a local councillor, I know just how important it is we ensure everyone has access to a high-quality and affordable public transport network, with safe cycling routes across the capital. London is a fantastic city. I know Sadiq wants its transport system to be the envy of the world and I am looking forward to playing my part in making that happen."