Since its creation in 1921, the City Council, had a chairman. In 1955, upon request of the Members of the City Council, the post was renamed to Mayor, and therefore, the Mayor of Gibraltar was chosen from among the members of the Council. Joshua Hassan, the Chairman of the City Council at the time become the first Mayor of Gibraltar.
The City Council disappeared when the new Gibraltar Constitution Order in Council was signed in 1969. However, the Mayor of Gibraltar survived, but only with a ceremonial character, and was to be elected by the House of Assembly (later the Parliament). This meant that office was invariably taken by the Speaker or a Government Minister.
A person elected to the office of Mayor shall hold office upon such terms and conditions, and shall perform such functions (being ceremonial functions of a civic character), as may be determined by the Governor, acting after consultation with the Gibraltar Council.
Following the new 2006 Constitution, the Mayor no longer had to be chosen from among the Members of Parliament. Instead, the Mayor is appointed by Parliament. The intention was to move to a new system whereby citizens from the community at large can be appointed Mayor for a one-year period. The Government of Gibraltar announced that a Deputy Mayor would also be appointed for the same period and would take up the office of Mayor the following year.
The Mayor of Gibraltar is appointed by Parliament but no longer from within Parliament, and is to hold the position for a one-year period. As per the 2006 Constitution:
A person elected to the office of Mayor shall hold office upon such terms and conditions, and shall perform such functions (being ceremonial functions of a civic character), as may be determined by the Parliament.
A Deputy Mayor is at the same time appointed by Parliament for one year to assist and support the Mayor in the discharge of Mayoral duties, as well as to act as Mayor when s/he is unable to participate in a civic event. The Deputy will take office as Mayor the following year and a new Deputy appointed, and so on.