Councillor Hugh Rayner will become the new Mayor of Barnet after being elected by his Conservative colleagues last night.

The Hale ward councillor will officially take over the role from current Mayor, Councillor Melvin Cohen, when he is sworn in later this year.

Nominating Cllr Rayner for the role, fellow Tory councillor Tom Davey said: “He knows our residents, he knows how the council works and he knows how to chair a meeting.”

He thanked Cllr Rayner for showing him the ropes on the council, and praised him for being a “diligent and courteous” man who treats everyone equally.

Councillor Kate Salinger seconded the nomination, calling Cllr Rayner a “chivalrous” gentleman whose energy would never flag.

Labour group members nominated Cllr Agnes Slocombe as their candidate for mayor, but she lost the vote to Cllr Rayner, 20 to 36.

Cllr Rayner told fellow councillors “how proud” he was to be elected.

He has chosen Cllr David Longstaff to be his deputy.