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Nicky Gavron

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Nicky Gavron
Gavron in 2008
1st and 3rd deputy mayor of London
In office
14 June 2004 – 4 May 2008
MayorKen Livingstone
Preceded byJenny Jones
Succeeded byRichard Barnes
In office
16 May 2000 – 16 May 2003
MayorKen Livingstone
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byJenny Jones
Member of the London Assembly
In office
10 June 2004 – 8 May 2021
ConstituencyAdditional Member
In office
4 May 2000 – 10 June 2004
Preceded byConstituency created
Succeeded byJoanne McCartney
ConstituencyEnfield and Haringey
Personal details
Felicia Nicolette Coates

November 1941 (age 82)[1]
Worcester, Worcestershire, England
Political partyLabour Co-operative
SpouseBob Gavron (div.)
Residence(s)Highgate, London, England
Alma materCourtauld Institute

Felicia Nicolette C. Gavron (nee Coates, born November 1941)[1] is a British politician who was deputy mayor of London under Ken Livingstone from 2000 to 2003 and 2004 to 2008. She was a member of the London Assembly from 2000 to 2021 and was the former Labour candidate for the 2004 London mayoral election.[2]


Gavron was born in Worcester. She is the daughter of a German Jew who fled from Nazi Germany in 1936 as pressure on the Jewish community was mounting. In March 2008, she claimed that her mother was chosen to dance before Hitler in the opening ceremony of the 1936 Olympics, until the authorities discovered that she was Jewish.[3]

She studied at Worcester Girls' Grammar School, followed by the study of the history of art at the Courtauld Institute in London. She then gained a job as a lecturer at the Camberwell School of Art in South London.

Political career[edit]

Gavron became interested in politics in the 1970s when she campaigned against the widening of the Archway Road in London. In an interview with The Guardian she said, "It was in the days when everyone thought road widening was the answer, but the penny dropped for me that it was part of the problem."[4]

In 1986, following the abolition of the Greater London Council, she was elected as a Labour councillor for Archway ward in the London Borough of Haringey. She was the leader of the London Planning Advisory Committee from 1994 until it was absorbed into the Greater London Authority. She was elected London Assembly member for Enfield and Haringey in the 2000 London Assembly election and was deputy mayor of London from May 2000 until June 2003,[5] when the mayor, Ken Livingstone, appointed Jenny Jones of the Green Party to succeed her.

Although she was selected as Labour's mayoral candidate for the 2004 elections, she stepped aside when Livingstone was readmitted to the party. In the 2004 London Assembly election she was re-elected as a London-wide Labour Assembly member on the party list. Shortly after the election, Livingstone once again appointed her to the position of deputy mayor.[6] She was supposed to take up a position as acting mayor during Livingstone's suspension for four weeks from 1 March 2006, but a High Court order froze the suspension, allowing him to remain in office.

Gavron stood for the Barnet and Camden London Assembly seat in the 2008 GLA elections against the Conservative incumbent, Brian Coleman. Although she was unsuccessful in this contest she increased the Labour share of the vote in the constituency and was re-elected to the Assembly on the London-wide list vote.

Gavron ceased to be deputy mayor on 4 May 2008 following Boris Johnson's victory in the 2008 London mayoral election. She was subsequently the chair of the London Assembly's housing and planning committee and a deputy chair of the planning committee.[7] She was also the London Assembly Labour Group's lead spokesperson on planning matters.

Gavron is a former member of the Safer London Committee and the Metropolitan Police Authority. She was a member of the Mayor's Advisory Cabinet, holding the portfolio for spatial development and strategic planning.[8] In this capacity, she was the driving force behind much of the mayor's environment and planning policy, overseeing the London Plan.[9]

In January 2019, Gavron announced her intention to stand down at the 2020 London Assembly election.[10]

Environmental policy[edit]

Gavron is internationally recognised for her environmental expertise. She was a key figure in the establishment of the London Climate Change Agency and the C40 – a worldwide climate change action group made up of the world's largest cities.[11] In 2006, Business Week Magazine cited her, along with Ken Livingstone, as one of the 20 most important people in the world in the battle against greenhouse gas emissions. The magazine said, "[She aims] to turn London into a model of a sustainable future for all the world's great cities."[4]

In the same year she called for a new Clean Air Act – a Low Carbon Act to fight climate change.[12] She envisioned low carbon zones being rolled out across the country in the same way that smokeless zones had been in the 1950s.

Gavron has criticised patio heaters, calling them "an indulgence too far". In an article for the Guardian's Comment is Free section she asked, "Why not wear a jumper and enjoy fresh air, not a cocktail of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and goodness knows what else."[13]

Personal life[edit]

In 1967, she married the publishing tycoon Robert Gavron (later Lord Gavron), a widower with two children. They had two daughters together, Jessica, now a lawyer, and Sarah, a film director. They divorced in 1987 and he died in 2015.[14]


  1. ^ a b "Felicia Nicolette GAVRON". Companies House. Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  2. ^ "Election Guide 2010 » London List Members". UK Polling Report. Retrieved 23 January 2014.[dead link]
  3. ^ London Evening Standard, 5 March 2008
  4. ^ a b Slavin, Terry (4 January 2006). "Capital calling". The Guardian.
  5. ^ "The Mayor of London". Greater London Authority. 2003. Archived from the original on 22 December 2003.
  6. ^ "Ken appoints Nicky Gavron as Deputy Mayor". Nicky Gavron. 14 June 2004. Archived from the original on 23 July 2004. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  7. ^ "London Assembly – Membership of Committees/Bodies and Terms of Reference 2019/20" (PDF). London Assembly. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 August 2019. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  8. ^ "Mayor's Advisory Cabinet: Members". Greater London Authority. 2004. Archived from the original on 11 August 2004.
  9. ^ Estates Gazette, 28 February 2008, p. 68
  10. ^ "Twycross is fourth Labour Assembly Member to stand down". Inside Croydon. 12 February 2019. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  11. ^ "Nicky Gavron". World Clean Energy Awards. Archived from the original on 8 September 2008.
  12. ^ "Nicky Gavron: We need a new version of the Clean Air Act". The Independent. London. 19 July 2006. Archived from the original on 20 June 2022.
  13. ^ Gavron, Nicky (26 July 2007). "Not in my back yard". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 11 October 2008.
  14. ^ Barker, Nicolas (10 February 2015). "Lord Gavron of Highgate: Printing tycoon with keen sense of social justice whose support for Labour was rewarded with a peerage". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 20 June 2022. Retrieved 27 September 2017.

External links[edit]

Political offices
New office Deputy Mayor of London
Succeeded by
Preceded by Deputy Mayor of London
Succeeded by