THE world’s first and only mayor elected as a monkey will chair his last council meeting tomorrow, Thursday, May 2.

Stuart Drummond was famously elected mayor of Hartlepool 11 years ago standing as H’Angus the Monkey, Hartlepool United’s club mascot.

He was since voted back in twice as plain Stuart Drummond but the people of the town voted to end the elected mayor system in a referendum and Mr Drummond will officially end his tenure on Monday, May 6.

Mr Drummond told The Northern Echo he was not planning to stand as mayor again in any event and his wife, Rebecca, was looking forward to the family living out of the limelight.

He chaired his last cabinet meeting today, Wednesday, May 1 and tonight will be his final Full Council committee meeting.

Speaking after the cabinet meeting, he said: “It was run of the mill, but I think they put a couple of good news reports for us to consider instead of anything controversial. I said few ‘thank yous,’ to all my cabinet members, past and present, and all the council officers who helped me.”

Mr Drummond, a father-of-three, said he had “not the slightest” expectation of winning when he persuaded Hartlepool United to pay his £500 deposit to stand as mayor as a way of earning publicity for the club he loves.

He stood as himself in 2005 and won with a majority of more than 10,000 although his majority was much reduced to 1,100 in 2009.

Mr Drummond, finalist as world mayor in 2010, said he was most proud of his ‘operation cleansweep’ initiative, in which the council focuses all its resources on a single area of the town to make dramatic improvements. He was also proud of the Tall Ships event coming to the town in 2010 which he described as “Hartlepool’s Olympic Games” that genuinely helped to shift attitudes towards the town.

Difficult decisions including closing a learner swimming pool and sacking six Labour members of his cabinet, some of whom he considered friends, for not supporting his budget.

Mr Drummond said he has not yet secured a new job but had “a few irons in the fire.” Leader of the Labour group, Christopher Akers-Belcher, will become leader of the council from Monday.