COUNCILLOR Cathy Kent was elected unopposed an unanimously and spoke immediately of the "tremendous honour" she was being given.
Cllr Kent also paid tribute to the "outstanding work" of outgoing Mayor and former councillor Sue Gray, who lost her seat at the recent elections, who she said had visited "every part of the Borough."
Cllr John Kent said Sue had been diligent, hardworking and someone who always went the extra mile. He added she and her consort Tony had visited every square yard of Thurrock. You have been a fantastic mayor and a great ambassador for Thurrock in the wider world. Thank you for a job well done,", he added.
Tory leader Cllr Rob Gledhill described Sue as "everyone’s favourite nan and she left very difficult shoes to fill. Many, many people I have spoken to said she was "a proper mayor and just what Thurrock needs".
Tory Cllr Mark Coxshall, threatened several times with having to sit on the Mayor’s "naughty step" paid tribute, saying: "I have never seen such a goodhearted and warm mayor of Thurrock and I can’t say any more than that – thank you very much for all you have done."
For UKIP, Cllr Roy Jones said: "This role was made for you, it suited you so well. You were a fantastic mayor. In my heart you will always be Madam Mayor."
An emotional but proud Sue Gray said: "I would like to say a huge thank-you to you all. I have had the best year of my life, it was a fantastic year. We have had the most fabulous time and it has been such an honour and a privilege. I have been to 608 different events and I I have enjoyed every one of them."
She also warned councillors about their conduct going forward, saying: "This is not a boxing ring, please be thoughtful in what you say, we are here for your residents."