A Watford councillor has been selected to run as the Labour mayoral candidate for the town in next year's election.

Asif Khan, who is both a borough and county councillor, is vying to become Watford's new mayor when voters go to the polls in May.

Watford born-and-bred Cllr Khan is standing as mayoral candidate for the first time although the 45-year-old has been representing residents as a borough councillor since 2011.

The 45-year-old, who is a lecturer in IT, represents Leggatts ward at Watford Borough Council and is North Watford's county councillor at Hertfordshire County Council.

Watford Observer: Councillor Asif KhanCouncillor Asif Khan

In the 2018 mayoral election, Labour came second to the Liberal Democrats after serving mayor Peter Taylor saw off competition from Vicarage ward councillor Jagtar Singh-Dhindsa.

Mr Taylor has already been announced as the Lib Dem candidate with Watford Conservatives deputy chairman Binita Mehta-Parmar running for the top position as well.

Cllr Khan says one of his main focuses is on development in Watford, highlighting the number of high-rise buildings that are under construction or been given permission.

He says he wants to provide the "leadership that has been lacking" to stop a "nightmare scenario" of towers "that are only getting taller".

Watford Observer: Councillor Asif KhanCouncillor Asif Khan

Watford Labour group leader Nigel Bell welcomes Cllr Khan's mayoral candidacy, saying: "Asif has been the most hardworking councillor I have known since he was first elected in 2011.

"He has always used his intellect and forensic skills to question the Liberal Democrats and their running of the council.

"He has shown the leadership skills to be an excellent mayor, especially during the Covid crisis, working tirelessly with different groups.

"I know he will use all his considerable abilities to challenge the present Mayor and gain support from across the town."

Related: Watford Liberal Democrats announce 2022 mayoral candidate

Related: Watford Conservatives announce 2022 mayoral candidate