An unprecedented display of muscle flexing by a newly invigorated official ‘opposition’ brought an unexpectedly political slant to this week’s mayor making ceremony at Windsor’s Guildhall.

The ceremonial event - which saw Cllr Sayonara Luxton officially confirmed as the Royal Borough’s mayor - traditionally allows councillors to come together across the political divide with differences put on hold until standard council meetings start again.

But while the adoption of the new mayor and new deputy Cllr Graham Muir went through smoothly and unanimously in front of councillors and invited guests, the formal adoption of the council leader for the next year - which usually rounds the ceremony off in seconds - did not.

It is only weeks after the Conservatives saw their massive majority substantially reduced as a combination of Liberal Democrats, Independents and the newly formed tBf (the borough first) party won seats on the council, causing shock waves by ousting several leading senior Tories.

They demanded a ‘named vote’ on Tuesday when it was formally proposed that Cllr Simon Dudley remain as council leader, giving 17 ‘opposition’ councillors the chance to vote against his reelection. The Conservatives still hold a majority and their 23 votes ensured he was reelected.

But the break with tradition that normally sees the ruling party leader confirmed unopposed gave out a strong message that the Conservative stranglehold on the borough is likely to be ruthlessly challenged by an opposition that now includes one disaffected Conservative who helped create a new opposition party.

But Cllr Dudley was conciliatory in his formal response to the vote - pledging to work with all councillors and saying: “We will work tirelessly to improve Windsor and Maidenhead for the benefit of all our residents.”

Otherwise the mayor making went smoothly and Cllr Luxton revealed her chosen charity to support will be Thames Hospice.