Bexley’s new mayor is “overwhelmed” after becoming the 51st person to be elected to the post.

Councillor Howard Marriner, who represents Barnehurst Ward, was voted in at Bexley Council’s first full meeting at its new offices in Watling Street on June 11.

Coun Marriner defeated Labour candidate Gill MacDonald by winning the unanimous support of the Conservative group, and one out of UKIP’s three councillors.

He will be the 51st mayor since Bexley became a London borough in 1965 and the 75th since it received its charter in 1937.

The grandfather-of-four is a retired banker who spent time living in Nigeria, Hong Kong, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland.

He said: “I am overwhelmed by the honour I feel having been given this opportunity to serve not only the residents in Barnehurst, but across Bexley.

“I want to meet as many people as I can and engage and work with the borough’s organisations such as Rotary, Round Table, Inner Wheel and the Lions to raise awareness of their good work locally.

“In addition, I want to work with the Greenwich and Bexley Hospice because I understand just how much they do for Bexley’s residents in their hour of need.”

Coun Ross Downing will be deputy mayor.

Outgoing mayor Coun Sharon Massey told said in her farewell address: “Despite these austere times, the role of mayor is highly regarded and greatly appreciated by the residents of Bexley.

“I have met people shaking in their boots and others have cried because they are overwhelmed to have met the mayor.

“As mayor you really do touch people’s lives and you have the unique opportunity of demonstrating civic pride and can show residents how they are so important in all that we do in this chamber.”