Sadiq Khan has appointed Howard Dawber (pictured), formerly of the Canary Wharf Group, as his new Deputy Mayor for Business following the departure of the long-serving Rajesh Agrawal to campaign for a seat in the House of Commons.
Dawber, himself a former parliamentary candidate, worked for nearly 20 years at Canary Wharf company, latterly as Managing Director for Strategy, before leaving last July to start his own infrastructure and development consultancy.
Projects he was involved with included Crossrail – now providing Elizabeth line services – and a range of tourism, technology and international engagement programmes. He will start work at City Hall today.
Dawber has also been a board member of a variety of London business organisations, including the East London Business Association and London and Partners. He played a part in London’s 2012 Olympics candidate city campaign and is now a trustee of The Line, a public art walk along the River Lea.
Dawber was born in Manchester and attended King’s College university in London. Before joining Canary Wharf, he worked for public affairs company Bell Pottinger. He contested the outer London seat of Bexleyheath & Crayford at the 2010 general election, finishing second to incumbent Conservative David Evennett.
Responding to his appointment, Dawber said he was “honoured and excited” to be joined Mayor Khan’s team and that his role is ensuring that “London is number one” in retail, tech, life science, culture and financial services sectors, “so that all Londoners can benefit from the jobs”.
Khan reiterated his pledge to be “the most business-friendly Mayor London has ever had” and said he will work with Dawber to “bring more jobs to the capital” and on “banging the drum for London across the globe”.
Dawber’s appointment has also been welcomed by Craig Beaumont of the Federation of Small Businesses, who described him as “an excellent choice”, and by Chris Hayward, policy chair of the City of London Corporation, who said “his expertise and experience will be a real asset to London”, adding that the City will “continue to work closely” with City Hall.