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X Factor winner Ben Haenow to be welcomed home with civic reception from Croydon mayor

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X FACTOR winner Ben Haenow will receive a civic reception from the Mayor of Croydon when he comes home.

Council leader Tony Newman said the mayor will host a celebration for Ben and his friends and family in the town hall in the New Year, and Simon Cowell may even get an invite.

There will be refreshments, a speech from the mayor and Ben will be invited to sing,

Cllr Newman said: "In the new year at a time that is convenient to him and, dare one say, Mr Cowell, we will make that happen. It will be an official recognition from the borough about what a fantastic and remarkable contribution Ben has already made to a very powerful message about Croydon."

Ben and Cowell met cllr Newman at the Ben's X Factor homecoming gig outside the Whitgift shopping centre last week (December 9) and said the pair were the "last people to leave the building having spent time meeting event staff.

"Simon was extraordinarily positive and gracious about Croydon and the reception he and Ben had received," said cllr Newman.

"It's been a really positive story. I was at the gig last week when there were 4000 people in the centre of Croydon and it was a great event with a great atmosphere.

"He's brought out all that's good about Croydon."

And cllr Newman is not the only politician Ben Haenow fan. Ahead of last weekend's X Factor final Tory MP Gavin Barwell, Labour MP Steve Reed, and Labour candidate Sarah Jones joined cllr Newman to put the Croydon Advertiser Vote for Ben posters in their windows.

Mr Barwell said: "It's an incredible achievement for him personally I'm really delighted for him but I think it's great for the town as well.

"One of the things I see in my job all the time is the number of talented young people we have in the borough.

"Often young people today don't get a great write up but actually most young people I meet are full of energy and are a great advert for the town."

Mr Reed said: "To come as he does from an ordinary Croydon family and go on to do something so big is inspirational to a lot of our young people and other people living in the borough.

"He's just an ordinary young bloke living in Shirley, who works hard for a living and suddenly he's got a big break and he's going to become a star. It's such a wonderful story.

"He's Croydon boy through and through and he's very proud of it and I think it's fair to say Croydon is immensely proud of him too."

X Factor winner Ben Haenow to be welcomed home with civic reception from Croydon mayor


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