'London is moving east': City Hall's Crystal move confirmed for New Year

View of The Crystal from above

The Crystal is to become London's new City Hall - Credit: Rosalind Butt

City Hall's move to Newham has been confirmed for January, mayor of London Sadiq Khan has revealed.

The Crystal will host the London Assembly in a move from its iconic Norman Foster-designed building on the south bank of the Thames.

Mr Khan said the relocation will save £61 million over the course of five years, which he has pledged to spend on frontline services such as the Met Police and London Fire Brigade.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan 

Sadiq Khan announced the Crystal will host the GLA from January - Credit: PA

The Greater London Authority (GLA) owns the Crystal but said it rented its current home to the tune of more than £11million a year from the Kuwaiti government.

Unmesh Desai, London Assembly member for City and East, described it as "very expensive".

He said it had been emotional to bid the current City Hall farewell.

"I still remember the excitement and sense of privilege that I felt walking into the building for the first time after being elected to represent the City and East constituency in 2016.

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“As I have always said, London is moving east.

"I will be keen to see how having the beating heart of London politics in Newham might give a boost to the regeneration of the Royal Docks and I will continue to call for more much-needed investment and job opportunities in the area."

Assembly member Unmesh Desai... "Tragic seeing so many sleeping rough"

'London is moving east', according to assembly member Unmesh Desai - Credit: Mike Brooke

The final meeting at the current City Hall is on December 2, with the GLA then moving out and being based temporarily at its Union Street offices for a few weeks while work is completed at the Crystal.

Its first meeting at the Royal Docks venue will be Mayor's Question Time on January 20, where Mr Khan is quizzed by members of the assembly.

The Conservative opposition on the GLA felt London's government has been "left in limbo" and called the switch to the Crystal "deeply uninspiring".

People enjoy the sunshine outside City Hall in London, during England's third national lockdown to c

The current City Hall on the south bank of the Thames - Credit: PA Images

Mr Khan believes the move, along with the proposed opening of the Elizabeth line next year, will act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the Royal Docks.

He said:  “City Hall’s move to The Crystal will usher in a new era for the GLA and this flourishing part of east London."