Re-Election of William Russell in Bread Street A Farce

It will have surprised no one that William Russell has been ‘re-elected’ as alderman for Bread Street unopposed since the entire City of London electoral system is rigged. Russell stepped down from his role as Aldermanic Sheriff last September and in due course looks all set to be the fifth member of his family to be elected Lord Mayor of London in just over 100 years. Russell’s rise through the ranks of the City of London council demonstrates how roles within this local authority are stitched up through a combination of a ridiculously small electorate, the undemocratic business vote system and an old boy network.

Aside from the indignity of having to become a freeman of the City of London – a so-called ‘honour’ also bestowed on paedophiles and human rights abusers – in order to stand for election in this local authority, it is also necessary to find five nominees on the electoral roll in the ward being contested. In 21 of the 25 City of London wards the paucity of residents (often numbering only in single figures) and dominance of business votes means that anti-establishment candidates find it almost impossible to be nominated. The entire electoral system is rigged by this and other means. No one stood against William Russell in Bread Street because insiders wouldn’t want to oppose a man marked as a future Lord Mayor, and outsiders aren’t able to get the five nominations that would enable them to do so.

Clearly the City of London is a rotten borough in urgent need of democratic reform and Russell’s re-election should be declared null and void. We would also question the logic of holding the wardmote for this election (and indeed the actual vote had there been one) at Fidelity International, a high profile financial business and thus a major beneficiary of the undemocratic business votes system. This ‘election’, like all ‘elections’ in the City of London, stinks.

Pippa Henslowe.



Header shows William Russell with his company director wife Hilary Russell. Image above shows Mrs Bernadette Ford, Mr Ken Ford and Mrs Hilary Russell at the South Cambridgeshire Conservatives 2013 Patrons Club Annual Dinner.

Notice of Bread Street election from City of London website

Bread Street Aldermanic Election

William Anthony Bowater Russell has surrendered the office of Alderman for the Ward of Bread Street. He is seeking re-election for another term and an election will now take place.

Download the Notice of Election (22KB).

Following the close of nominations at noon on Monday 6 August 2018, one (1) candidate had submitted valid nomination papers.

Details of the candidates, their proposers, seconders and subscribers appear on the Statement of Persons Nominated (20KB).

Candidates now have until noon on Thursday 9 August 2018 to consider whether they wish to withdraw.

A Wardmote (Ward meeting) is scheduled to take place at noon on Wednesday 29 August 2018 at Fidelity International, 25 Cannon Street, London, EC4M 5TA. All eligible voters are entitled to attend and there will be an opportunity for candidates to address the meeting and for voters to ask them questions.

If the election is contested then a poll will take place on Thursday 30 August 2018, at Fidelity International, 25 Cannon Street, London, EC4M 5TA between the hours of 8am and 8pm. The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on Tuesday 14 August and the deadline to apply for a proxy vote is 5pm on Tuesday 21 August.

If you want further information, please contact the Electoral Services Office at


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