THE Conservatives have announced their candidate for the city’s upcoming mayoral election.

Councillor Dawn Barnett, who represents Hangleton and Knoll on Brighton and Hove City Council, will be put forward to be the city’s Mayor in 2022 – 2023.

Deputy Mayor and councillor Mary Mears was set to take on the role from May, but the Conservative group announced she will no longer be able to due to “health issues”.

Cllr Barnett will be formally proposed at the annual council meeting on May 26.

The Conservative Group has the responsibility of nominating the city’s mayor for the next year and “unanimously decided” that Cllr Barnett would be proposed.

Steve Bell, leader of the Conservative Group, said that Cllr Barnett would “make a fine Mayor for the city”.

He said: “Cllr Dawn Barnett is our group’s most popular councillor and well-known throughout the city.

“You can walk with Dawn up and down almost any street in Brighton and Hove and someone will come up and talk to her who she knows.

“The mayoralty is a special part of the Brighton & Hove tradition and one as Conservatives we treat with great respect.

“As Conservatives it is our privilege to be able to nominate the mayor for the next year and an honour to propose one of our City’s best characters - the one and only Dawn Barnett.”

Cllr Barnett said it was a “great honour” to be nominated by the Conservative Group.

She said: “I’m so sorry that Mary is unable to fulfil what was going to be her role, particularly after two years of being Deputy Mayor of Brighton and Hove.

“Mary is my great friend, I’ve talked to her every day for many years and it is such a shame she cannot be Mayor.

"I know how much she was looking forward to the year.

‘I would like to thank my Conservative colleagues for nominating me for this honour.

“This city has been my life since I was seven years of age. I think the Brighton, Hove and Portslade people are genuine and I have always been glad to be a part of this city with them.

“It’s an important year for the city ahead with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and I want to make it a really special year for the residents and one they will remember for many years to come”.