Polls open in London and across the UK for mayoral and council elections

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Candidates from Kent to Cumbria are holding their breath as polls open in massive local elections across the country.

Councils, mayors and police roles across England and Wales are on the ballot. That includes London, where Sadiq Khan is hoping to become the first mayor to be elected to three terms.

He is up against candidates including Conservative Susan Hall, Zoe Garbett of the Greens and Lib Dem Rob Blackie. So far, they have clashed on issues including crime, housing and the controversial expansion of the city’s Ulez – but Mr Khan appeared to have a commanding lead going into election day.

The new ‘combined authorities’ of the North East, the East Midlands and York and North Yorkshire are electing their first ever mayors, with Labour looking set to nab at least two of the three.

Tories, meanwhile, are crossing their fingers in the hope that Andy Street, mayor of the West Midlands, and Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen keep their roles.

If both succeed, it would be a bright spot in what is expected to be a tough set of results for the party, with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt saying they were expecting ‘significant losses’.

But it’s also an important opportunity for people to choose who makes the decisions that affect them every day, from bin collection times to fixing potholes in the roads.

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