NICK Paget-Brown has been elected leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council and will succeed the outgoing Sir Merrick Cockell.
Councillor Paget-Brown also becomes leader of the Tory group on council after his rivals Rock Feilding-Mellen and Daniel Moylan stepped aside on Sunday evening.
He is due to be confirmed in the top job at the annual council meeting on May 22.
Mr Paget-Brown said: “We’ve had 13 years of low tax, high-quality services and huge investment in buildings, streets and schools. It’s a record of which we are very proud.
"Although the financial clouds are darkening, our residents continue to have the highest standards and expectations for the place they live in. They want a council which is effective, responsive and puts their interests at the heart of all it does.
"At a time of hugely demanding financial pressure on local government, we must continue to set one of the lowest council tax levels in the country. To deliver this, we need to manage our budgets prudently, to keep costs down, make the most of our joint working with Hammersmith & Fulham and Westminster; and generate more income from our assets."
Mr Feilding-Mellen confirmed he withdrew from the race because ‘it became apparent that it would be very difficult to attract enough new supporters to win overall’.
He added that he was fully supporting the new leader.
Mr Paget-Brown was first elected to the council in 1986, having served as chief whip of the Conservative group from 2000 to 2011, and has been deputy leader since April 2011.
He has overseen a number of new projects, including leading the controversial Exhibition Road refurbishment as cabinet member for environment, transport and leisure, and launching the authority’s first arts and culture policy, and more than 300 community kitchen gardens.
Sir Merrick Cockell was leader of K&C Council for 13 years and announced last month that he would be standing down.