London’s top earning councillor Gareth Bacon is stepping down as deputy leader of Bexley Council, and as the cabinet member for finance and corporate services.

Coun Bacon said at last night's scrutiny committee (April 13) that he will give up the two posts on May 20, whilst continuing to be a Conservative councillor for Longlands ward.

This follows an appointment from the Mayor of London Boris Johnson as the chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, a role which he took on in March.

This fourth position raised Coun Bacon’s annual salary to £108,000 – making him the highest paid councillor in London.

Coun Bacon said: “My mind was settled in January. But with the budget being set it would have been a completely inappropriate time for me to step down.

“I think I probably could have dealt with everything.

“But the opportunity was a very big one and working at a different level.

“I wanted to be able to give it my best shot because I may only have one year as the chairman of the Fire and Emergency Planning Authority.

“So I decided that something would have to give.”

Leader of the Bexley Labour group Coun Alan Deadman said: "I am relieved to see that Tory Councillor Gareth Bacon has finally seen sense by taking into consideration the concerns that I have raised about him juggling these four local government positions.

‘’I had grave concerns as the job of a Cabinet Member for Finance plays a big role with regards to making decisions on which public services to cut and protect.”

After nine years, Coun Bacon is the longest standing cabinet member for Bexley, with the exception of council leader Teresa O'Neill.

He will step down at this year's annual council, making the dad-of-one’s salary £90,500.