Croydon has voted to create a new mayor who will be elected by local voters.

The change was backed by 80 per cent of the 59,000 voters that turned out – just 21 per cent of those that could vote.

This means that next May a new mayor will be elected when other local elections take place.

The mayor will replace the current leader of the council who is voted in by their own party.

The referendum was triggered following the campaign Democratically Elected Mayor of Croydon (DEMOC) which launched in February 2020.

The campaign needed to get 15,000 signatures – five per cent of the electorate – to trigger a referendum on whether to adopt the new system.

Chris Philp, the Tory MP for Croydon South, said: “Croydon residents have voted by a landslide to reject the failed Labour leader which is unsurprising seeing as Labour has bankrupted the council, presided over the failed Westfield project and handed out inappropriate planning consent like confetti.

“Croydon wants change and this is a clear sign.”

An extraordinary council meeting will be held soon to put the public vote into effect.

Leader of the council Hamida Ali said: “When I became leader last year, I promised to open up the council and give residents a stronger voice.

“That’s why I listened to local people and ensured the council held this referendum to give our community the chance to have their say on how the council is run in the future.

“Over the past year we have made major progress transforming the council to get our finances back on track and begin to improve the vital services our residents rely on.

“Today’s result means that in May next year residents will get the chance to elect a mayor to lead our council and continue this important work reforming Croydon Council to provide the best possible services for local people.”