Labour Leader Councillor John Kent followed through from his shock radio revelations on Monday to resign as leader of Thurrock Council last night.

The politician made the formal announcement at last night’s annual council meeting at the Civic offices in Grays.

Mr Kent said he did not think it was “right” to lead when his party had the smallest mandate after its support tumbled from 18 to 14 seats at the May 5 election.

He also added he was “surprised” that there had not been a motion yet to remove him, to general laughter.

The outgoing politician received a standing ovation from the majority of the chamber at the end of his speech.

He said: “Eight years ago Thurrock Council had been audited as the third worst in the country with an annual overspend of half a million.”

“We also had only one in three of every primary age children going to an Ofsted good or outstanding school. Now it is 80%."

Mr Kent finally urged all parties to stand together the fight the second Thames crossing coming through Thurrock.

New Council Leader Rob Gledhill thanked Mr Kent for his leadership and said he could “leave the chamber with his head held high.”