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WHOEVER is declared the winner of today’s mayoral election the man who is in charge until Monday is the chief executive Kevan Collins.

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Tower Hamlets’ first directly elected mayoral officially takes office on Monday morning.

Until then Dr Collins will have to deal with any major issues which arise.

One thing’s for sure - with a six figure salary he also earns more than the new mayor who will take home £74,995 in the top political job.

He is also the returning officer in charge of tonight’s count which gets under way at York Hall in Bethnal Green after the polls close at 10pm.

The council’s current leader Helal Abbas and his Cabinet of eight finish their term today and during the interregnum period on Friday and over the weekend Dr Collins has the power to make an urgent key decisions.

He could be in for a long night tonight as 175,000 people had the right to vote in this mayoral election at 119 polling stations across the East End.

Dr Collins became chief executive last year after succeeding Martin Smith to the top job.

He was previously head of children’s services at the council and started his career as a teacher in Tower Hamlets before a stint working as a government adviser on education.

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