Labour councillor Nick Draper has been selected as the new Mayor of Merton.

He was controversially voted in to office at a council meeting on Wednesday night, beating Conservative candidate Gilli Lewis-Lavender.

Some Conservative councillors have attacked the result, claiming Merton Park Independents - whose votes were decisive in appointing Coun Draper - went back on an earlier agreement to support a Conservative candidate.

Merton Park Independents have denied the claim.

Outgoing mayor Martin Whelton had to use his casting vote to select Coun Draper, who represents Colliers Wood.

The new mayor promised to focus on reaching out to young people during his year in office.

He also announced his mayoral charities, which will benefit from fundraising events throughout the next 12 months.

They are homelessness and training charity Grenfell Housing and mental health organisation Merton Mind.

Coun Whelton was praised by the leaders of all parties for his efforts as mayor during the meeting in Morden’s civic centre, and he revealed that over the past year £45,000 had been raised for his two mayoral charities - the Wimbledon Guild and Mitcham’s Vine Project.

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