Councillor Hugh Rayner has been appointed as the 50th Mayor of Barnet.

The Hale ward representative was sworn in at Hendon Town Hall on Monday evening as he replaced the outgoing mayor Councillor Melvin Cohen.

Councillor David Longstaff was appointed as the deputy mayor, and Councillor Rayner’s wife Susan will serve as the mayoress.

Lincoln-born Councillor Rayner has represented Hale ward since being elected to Barnet Council in 2006.

The former RAF squadron leader served for 17 years in the armed forces, and spent many of those based at RAF Hendon.

He remains the president of the Royal Air Force Association's Hendon & District Branch, and continues to take a keen interest in military matters, including the preservation of the borough’s war memorials.

He has served on a number of council committees, but his time on the council has not been entirely free from controversy.

In 2012 he gave up his free council parking permit after being found to have broken council rules by using it to avoid parking charges while out canvassing in Edgware. He later claimed he had forgotten to pay.

Councillor Rayner will support the Barnet Association for the Blind and the RAF Museum Hendon during his mayoral year.

He said being selected as a mayor was “a tremendous honour”.