Greenwich’s Conservatives will unveil a new leadership group when council resumes after a new leader and deputy were officially voted in at the party’s Annual General Meeting on Monday.

Former deputy Nigel Fletcher will now lead the Opposition party after being elected unanimously for the top job.

The Eltham South ward member assumes the position following Cllr Matt Hartley’s decision to step back after five years in the role.

The meeting, held online by video-conference, also saw 25-year-old Eltham North councillor, Charlie Davis, named deputy.

Cllr Geoff Brighty retained his position as Opposition Chief Whip.

Cllr Fletcher, whose first stint at Greenwich Council saw him represent Eltham North from 2005 until 2014, said he was “grateful and honoured” to have been chosen by his colleagues foerr the role.

“I look forward to building on the formidable achievements of Matt Hartley, who has been an exceptional leader throughout the last five years, and shown during recent weeks the value of responsible Opposition as we face unprecedented challenges as a Borough,” he said.

The new leader added the party’s current priority was the Opposition’s response to the Covid-19 crisis, which remains “the overriding focus for the whole council”.

Cllr Davis, who was first elected to council in 2016, added the party gave its “full backing to the council’s leadership and staff during these difficult times”. “They have our full support and heartfelt gratitude,” he said.

Outgoing leader Cllr Matt Hartley said “normal council politics is effectively on hold” during the unprecedented crisis.

“There will come a time, however, when normal politics resumes, and a strong, well-led Opposition at the Town Hall is a crucial part of that,” he said.

“I could not ask for a better successor as Leader of the Opposition than Nigel Fletcher, who I know will work tirelessly for our borough in this new role in the years ahead.”

According to the party, the changes to the group’s leadership take effect immediately, but Cllr Hartley will continue to serve as leader of the Opposition until the annual formal changes in Council office-holders takes place.