The Liberal Democrats won a contest to appoint a new mayor and deputy mayor of Wokingham Borough.

Adrian Mather and Carol Jewell were voted in as mayor and deputy mayor on Thursday, May 23, at the council’s first meeting since local elections earlier this month.

Councillor Mather – who served as deputy mayor last year – said he was ‘humbled’ by councillors’ decision to elect him mayor. Mark Ashwell, one of the council’s new Liberal Democrat councillors, described him as a ‘champion of equal opportunity'.

The Conservative Party nominated one of their own councillors, Alison Swaddle, as an alternative.

Conservative group leader Pauline Jorgensen said councillor Swaddle had long experience on the council and was ‘very well known in the area'.

The Conservatives also nominated councillor Shahid Younis as their candidate for deputy mayor. Councillor Jorgensen said he was a ‘longstanding councillor with a great reputation in the area'.

The Liberal Democrats won both votes as they are the largest political group on the council. The eight Labour Party councillors abstained from voting.

Councillor Mather takes over from Wokingham Borough’s previous mayor Beth Rowland, who ended her term in office on Thursday.

She nominated councillor Jewell – who has previously been a councillor and returned in the election earlier this month – as deputy mayor, adding that they had both ‘worked together since Moses was a lad'.