A ceremony has been held to officially mark the council's veteran leader, Sir Edward Lister, becoming an honorary freeman of the borough.

Sir Edward signed Wandsworth’s roll of honorary freemen at the town hall during the special event on Monday evening.

He was watched by family, friends and colleagues old and new, including Wandsworth’s current leader, Councillor Ravi Govindia and mayor, Councillor Jane Cooper.

Sir Edward’s name will now be added to the list of honorary freemen inscribed on the panel inside the town hall’s council chamber.

Coun Govindia said: “I can think of no one more deserving to receive this honour than Sir Edward.

“He served on the council for 35 years - the last 19 of which he spent as leader - making him the longest-serving council leader in the country and the true leader of local government.

“Sir Edward left an incredible legacy - particularly through the restoration and rejuvenation of Battersea Park and providing greater choice and lifting standards across all our schools, which are now among the best in the country.

“If his predecessors could be said to have planned, dug the trenches and laid the foundations of Wandsworth’s reputation, the structure and detail of that reputation is entirely down to Sir Edward."

Sir Edward is one of just three individuals since 1992 to have been awarded the title.

While there are no longer special rights or privileges attached to the award, it remains the highest honour a council can bestow.

During the January 9 ceremony, Sir Edward was presented with an illuminated scroll which records under seal the council’s formal resolution to confer the title.