oters are preparing to head to the polls to have their say in a host of local elections across the UK on Thursday.
Millions of Britons are expected to vote as polling stations open from 7am to decide on who should run their local authority.
Londoners will decide who runs the capital’s 32 borough councils while residents in five boroughs – Hackney, Lewisham, Newham and Tower Hamlets – will vote for a directly elected mayor.
The results are also expected to be crucial for the future of Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he grapples with the fall-out from the partygate saga. A poor result for the Tories nationwide is likely to raise fresh questions over his leadership of the party.
Education minister Michelle Donelan argued that Mr Johnson was “an asset, not a liability” in elections after some Tory councillors appeared to distance themselves during campaigning.
Ms Donelan told Sky News she could “understand” why councillor hopefuls wanted to show they are “going to be working hard on all of those things that impact daily life” rather than focusing on what is happening in Westminster.
Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of the local elections in London and across the UK.
Polling stations are expected to open in just five minutes and will remain open until 10pm.
We will have all the results here as they come in, as well as today’s other political developments as they happen.