The Conservative Boris Johnson has been elected for a second term as mayor of London after beating Labour rival Ken Livingstone in a close contest.
He won by a margin of just 3 percent.
Liberal Democrat Brian Paddick came fourth.
After a sometimes bitter campaign in which the rivals challenged each other over their income tax arrangements, Johnson paid tribute to his rival:
“Of all the left-wing politicians that I can think of, I think over your long period in office you have been amongst the most creative and amongst the most original, and if only you will promise not to stand again I much look forward to having that non-taxpayer-funded drink that we have so far not managed to fit into our diaries.”
Ken Livingstone then repaid the compliment whilst taking a side-swipe at the Tory government:
“I want to congratulate Boris on his personal victory. Whilst Cameron and Osborne are dragging the Tory party down to defeat in the rest of Britain, not only have you won another term, but I suspect this result has settled the question of the next Tory leadership election.”
Boris Johnson’s victory was in contrast to the Tory results in the rest of Britain where the Labour Party seized control of 32 councils. Prime Minister David Cameron vowed to carry on taking difficult decisions.