A man who has spent more than four decades serving the people of Merton has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for 2019.

Councillor David Williams made the list for ‘political service in local government’ and said it was a great honour.

"This news was a complete surprise and I have been overwhelmed by the kind reaction to it," he said.

"Councillors are local people who serve their community without the expectation of national honours. I am very grateful."

The longest serving sitting councillor in Merton, Mr Williams was first elected in Cannon Hill ward during May 1974, aged 22.

He has been a council leader (2006-2010), leader of the opposition (1999-2006), the mayor of Merton (2012-2013), a ward councillor for both Cannon Hill (1974-1987) and now Hillside (since 1990) among countless other roles, including serving as a magistrate (since 1986).

Cllr Nick McLean, Leader of Merton Conservatives added: “This is wonderful news and so very well deserved – for over 42 years Cllr Williams has been a dedicated public servant and this award recognises that service.

"On behalf of the Merton Conservative Group and the wider Conservative family: congratulations and well done.”