When discussing influence, what comes to mind? Position in society? Power? Money? This is not always the case as was discovered when investigating London’s fifteen most influential people.
1. Boris Johnson (Mayor of London)
Mr Johnson was re-elected in May of this year as the Mayor of London, which speaks volumes within itself. It is truly refreshing to see that the public have such faith in a person in politics these days that they want to see that figure stay and continue their good work.
The Mayor was also named the most influential person of 2012 by the London Standard, beating Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to the top spot, when two years ago the Mayor and Prime Minister were joint first.
2. David Cameron (Prime Minister)
It should be fairly obvious as to why Mr Cameron comes in at number two: he is the Prime Minister and the ‘master of the coalition government’, therefore will more than likely get what he wants, while his enemies and opponents (namely the Labour party) scowl on in annoyance and frustration.
Considering recent circumstances, Mr Cameron is holding much influence regarding the EU budget at the moment, threatening to veto the rebate, while, of course, using this to attack the Labour party for their record on the EU budget.
So, despite an overall bad year in power thanks to the economy and the pure embarrassment of the Leveson Enquiry, Cameron is still Mr. Big Shot.
3. Neil O’Brien (Policy Exchange Director)
More than likely a good friend of the Prime Minister, Mr O’Brien is the top dog at the think tank Policy Exchange and is considered to be the most influential person on the ‘Right’. While his organisation is dubbed the “Tory Boot Camp”, O’Brien claims he belongs to no party and his interests are purely for economic reform and social policy.
4. Ed Miliband (Labour Leader)
Despite the Labour leader undergoing constant spats with fellow MPs, mainly the Prime Minister himself, he has made a big leap from number eleven on the most influential list. Is this thanks to the PM himself and state of the country’s economy or in spite of it?
5. Jeremy Darroch (BskyB Chief Executive)
The BskyB Chief Executive has continuously improved the Sky service over the years, expanding it to broadband, phones, wi-fi and tablets, with figures showing a 7% remuneration rise each year. The Sky board have even given Mr Darroch a £2 million bonus to ensure he stays with them and, inevitably, keep the service that has been deemed “fit and proper”, even after News Corporation’s attempted bid to buy shares in the company.
6. Simon Cowell (Media mogul)
It has been made clear that nobody can quite match Mr Cowell’s television and music company Syco, despite several vain attempts to imitate some of the main shows’ formats, mainly The Voice. Currently working on a global TV talent show, Mr Cowell’s popular show The X Factor is still raking in millions of viewers and it has been said that the public vote on The X Factor more than they vote in general elections.
7. Prince Charles (environmentalist)
The Prince of Wales has had great influence over parliament concerning ‘green’ issues, which are undoubtedly something he is very sincere about. The Prince’s Foundation specialise is raising awareness for environmental issues and he has warned Prime Minister David Cameron not to “abandon ‘green’ targets”.
8. Ben Drew (musician, actor, director)
The Plan B rapper has recently spoken out about gangs and education, claiming government are “out of touch” and that issues like anti-social behaviour cannot simply be solved with more funding. The Centre for Social Justice published figures that showed an increase in gang violence since the 2011 riots, which Mr Drew predicts will happen again if something is not done about gang culture soon. Mr Drew has set up a youth charity, Each One Teach One, that helps disadvantaged children, and pledges to donate £1 from every ticket sale from his 2013 arena tour.
9. Thomas Heatherwick (designer)
This is the man that brought us the 2012 London Olympic stadium, also known as the Cauldron. Mr Heatherwick worked with director Danny Boyle and said the design represented “coming together in peace”. With the Olympics leaving a legacy behind that boosted London’s economy during the summer, it can be safe to say that Mr Heatherwick’s ‘cauldron’ has become a national treasure.
10. Danny Boyle (film director)
Mr Boyle is well known for his range of blockbuster movies, but his place on this list is down to his devising the epic open ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, for which he won the Beyond Theatre award for. He hoped, with the creation, to “prove culture runs through all of us and binds us all together”.
11. Sir Martin Sorrel (WPP Chief Executive)
The WPP group offers a range of communications services and Mr Sorrel also bought out the Farrington-based independent digital agency AKQA. However, he has also been known for his views on the economy, which he says has worsened with the 1300 jobs cut by Ford. He believes there are “four grey swans” that affect client behaviour concerning the economy: the Eurozone crisis, Middle East volatility, the soft landing of the Chinese economy and the deficit in the US. Possibly due to his feelings of the economy, Mr Sorrel also moved the WPP HQ back to the UK from Ireland.
12. E.L. James (author)
The writer of the racy Fifty Shades trilogy, Ms. James has become the biggest sensation since J.K. Rowling. Originally being self-published, her first novel, Fifty Shades of Grey, sold a massive 50 million copies in a matter of months. It is also set to be made in to a movie by the producers of ‘The Social Network’, which became a sensation across the world.
13. Richard Dawkins (scientist)
Since his book ‘The Selfish Gene’, Mr Dawkins, evolutionary biologist, has become an evangelist for atheism. He is honoured by scientists everywhere, there even being a fish named after him, the ‘Dawkinsia singhala’.
14. Tony Wang (Twitter UK boss)
Twitter’s first UK employee, Mr Wang is responsible for the European expansion of Twitter, which has approximately 175 million users worldwide. Mr Wang has already launched the firm’s first London office and has relocated himself to London from the States.
15. Yvette Copper (Shadow Home Secretary)
Married to Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, Ms. Cooper is seen by Labour MPs to have the “right ingredients” for being a future Prime Minister. Described as “brainy and glam, but also a down-to-earth mother” by the London Standard, Ms. Cooper could well appeal to a number of women and families all over the country.
BY: Rebecca Harris