It was a Mayoral-handover unlike any other in the history of Bromley Council.

Instead of the familiar haunt of Bromley’s Civic Centre, councillors took to their kitchen tables or study rooms, with members instructed to sign in remotely for the first virtual annual meeting in the authority’s history.

In a situation unfathomable just a few months ago, members from across the borough signed in to vote in favour of Cllr Hannah Gray for the mayorship, with Stephen Wells her deputy. 

Cllr Gray was supported by her fellow Conservative Judi Ellis, who said her successful tenure as deputy mayor meant she “already understands the commitment and drive needed for a successful mayoralty”.

In a pre-recorded video clip, Cllr Ellis lauded the new Mayor’s “lovely voice” – which she used in a professional singing career, and her “great advocacy skills, as the business community in Bromley know well” through her role as a director on Bromley business networking group BNI. 

“Putting others first and commitment are not new concepts for Hannah,” Cllr Ellis told her fellow councillors.

“She will bring charm, high heels and diversity to the role of mayor in these unique times”.

She was seconded by executive member for renewal, recreation and housing, Peter Morgan.

“She’s accustomed to long hours and hard work, and is full of energy and enthusiasm,” he said of the incoming Mayor.

“Above all, Hannah is just a thoroughly nice person.”

“I pray that the present crisis fades away very quickly, so we and residents in the borough can benefit from everything Hannah has to offer.”

Instead of the official ceremony taking place in front of a packed Civic Hall, a pre-recorded video of Cllr Gray donning the mayoral robes and officially signing on was played during the meeting.

The West Wickham ward member nominated Chartwell Cancer Trust and Cystic Fibrosis Supporters as her mayoral charities.

She and deputy mayor Cllr Wells succeed Nicholas Bennett and Kira Gabbert, who both step down after competing their mayoral terms.

The meeting also saw Bromley’s executive for the coming year confirmed, with council leader Colin Smith stating the group would stay largely the same – the only exception seeing Cllr Yvonne Bear take over as executive assistant for renewal, recreation and housing, a role previously held by the new Mayor.