Lord Toby Harris was an elected local and regional government politician for twenty-six years, holding a number of leading positions.
He was a councillor in London from 1978 to 2002 and served as council leader for twelve of those years. He was also a leading member of the London Assembly from 2000 to 2004.
He was Chair of the Association of London Authorities from 1993 to 1995, when he became the first Chair of the Association of London Government (now known as London Councils and which brought together the thirty-three local councils in the capital) until 2000. He was also a Deputy Chair of the Association of Metropolitan Authorities and chaired the Labour Group on the Local Government Association from 1995 to 2004, serving on its Executive and subsequently as a Vice-President.
He continues to be closely associated with developments in local and regional government, for example, recently initiating a debate in the House of Lords on the financing of cities.