CHAFFORD Hundred councillor Tunde Ojetola (Cons) was appointed Deputy Mayor of Thurrock to replace disgraced Tory cllr Eddie Hardiman.
It had been expected that a Labour councillor would take up the reins. Indeed Labour veteran Yash Gupta had brought his family and friends to the chamber.
Unfortunately, there were a large number of absentees amongst the Labour group. Nineteen voted for Tunde (including Concerned Conservative Stuart St-Clair-Haslam).
Seventeen voted for Yash with Independents John Purkiss, Barry Palmer and Emma Colgate abstaining.
Leader of the council John Kent welcomed Tunde to the role. He said: “Naturally I would have wanted Yash to be deputy mayor but Tunde you are regarded as one of the nicest and hardest working councillors in the borough and we are sure you will do a fine job.”
Deputy Mayor Ojetola said: “I am delighted to be appointed to the post and will do my utmost to serve the people of Thurrock between now and the end of April.”