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Mayor of London versus Deputy Mayor of New York: Gloves come off for fight for number one global city for business

The gloves come off on Wednesday 8 February between the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and Tim Campbell (winner of The Apprentice) and Deputy Mayors of New York, Howard Wolfson (Government Affairs) and Robert Steel (Economic Development) as they battle it out at The LandAid Annual Debate.

The LandAid Debate: Battle of the Giants, sponsored by Cushman & Wakefield, will explore whether London or New York is the premier city for business in 2012. London is quite possibly the world's preeminent business city, yet this claim is also made by New York, London's closest rival.

The debate is an opportunity to explore how London and New York as ‘global cities’ can remain competitive in a world where 90 percent of the fastest-growing metropolitan economies were located outside North America and Western Europe;  how to support economic growth and address the disparities of opportunity and wealth across their neighbourhoods; and ask what role the property industry has in addressing these issues.

The invite-only event will see mayors from both cities fight it out for the accolade of number one global city for business in a debate moderated by Sarah Montague, journalist and presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, commenting ahead of the debate, said: "London is the best big city in the world, and I never tire of pointing out to my counterparts that we have a lower murder rate than New York, less rain than Rome and more bookshops than Paris.”
"We're in the right time zone, speak the right language and have the ambition to ensure London remains the world's foremost global business centre, and I'm looking forward to fighting London's corner in the LandAid Debate."

Deputy Mayor for Government Affairs and Communications Howard Wolfson said: “The numbers tell the tale – New York City’s record population, record number of immigrants, and record levels of tourism speak volumes about the Big Apple's status as the world's greatest city, I’m looking forward to defending the honour of the New World in the Capitol of the Old.”

Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel said: “New York City is rightly known around the world as the Greatest City on Earth, and under Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s leadership the City has never been stronger, I look forward to making the case that New York is the best positioned City in the world to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the 21st century economy.”

Mike Slade, President, LandAid, the property industry charity, said: “We are hugely grateful to Boris Johnson, Tim Campbell (the Mayor’s Ambassador for Training and Enterprise) and the two mayors of New York for accepting the challenge to champion their respective cities in our 2012 LandAid debate. Following the huge success of our 2010 LandAid Future of London debate, we are looking to raise £50,000 to transform the lives of more disadvantaged young people in London and across the UK.”

Bryan Laxton, UK CEO of Cushman & Wakefield said: “As a global firm with strong operations in London and New York and a client list of top occupiers and investors active in both these leading global cities, Cushman & Wakefield is very pleased to support what promises to be a fierce and fun debate and to help raise the profile of LandAid and all the fantastic work it undertakes.”  

Broadcasters and journalists wishing to attend the event and/or interview the mayors should contact Harriet Luff at Redwood Consulting on 020 7828 5553 as soon as possible.


LandAid is the charity of the UK property industry. It helps the young and disadvantaged access the facilities, skills and opportunities to achieve their potential by making the most effective and innovative use of the property industry’s resources, expertise and influence. LandAid works with leading youth agencies around the country to provide specialist assistance where the property industry can make the most difference.

For further information about LandAid please contact Rosie Groves on 020 3102 7191 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

LandAid would like to thank Cushman & Wakefield for sponsoring the debate, Helical Bar for sponsoring the reception and the Debate Committee for organising the event.

Debate Committee: Pat Brown (Central), David Erwin (Cushman & Wakefield), Susan Freeman, (Mishcon de Reya), Mike Slade (Helical Bar).
E-Mail: enquiries@landaid.org, Tel: 020 3102 7190, Website by 3B Digital, London, UK
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