US & Canada

New York's new mayor Bill de Blasio sworn in

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Media captionBill De Blasio is sworn in by former US President Bill Clinton

The first Democratic mayor of New York City in more than 20 years has taken his oath of office at City Hall and has pledged to pursue a liberal agenda.

Bill de Blasio - who succeeds billionaire Michael Bloomberg- was inaugurated at a ceremony presided over by former US President Bill Clinton.

He was first sworn in at a brief ceremony outside his home with his family present, in line with tradition.

At City Hall he reaffirmed his promise to tax the rich and address inequality.

"We are called to put an end to economic and social inequalities that threaten to put an end to the city that we love,'' Mr de Blasio told the gathered crowd after he was sworn in.

He thanked the city of New York as well as Italy, where his family originated from.

Midnight ceremony

He won November's election by a record margin, contrasting himself with the pro-business Michael Bloomberg, who he said had created a "tale of two cities".

Mr Bloomberg is credited with leaving New York a safer, healthier and revitalised place after his 12 years in office. However, critics say his policies have widened the gap between rich and poor.

Shortly after midnight, Mr de Blasio was joined by his wife Chirlane McCray and their two teenage children outside their home in Brooklyn for the oath of office administered by state attorney Eric Schneiderman.

"To everyone, this is the beginning of a road we will travel together," he said after that ceremony.

The 52-year-old is New York's first Democratic mayor since David Dinkins, who became the city's first black leader in 1993.

As well as reversing the city's rising income inequality, he has promised to end a controversial stop-and-frisk policy which has been criticised for disproportionately targeting black and Hispanic men.

Mr de Blasio worked as an aide to Mr Dinkins when he was mayor and has also worked closely with the Clintons, managing Hillary Clinton's successful 2000 run for the US Senate.

He was elected to New York City Council in 2001, representing his home area of Brooklyn, before becoming public advocate, the city's official watchdog.

His bid for the mayor's job was aided by the implosion of the campaign of former congressman Anthony Weiner.

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