Martin Winter was mayor of Doncaster from 2002 until 2009
The former mayor of Doncaster, Martin Winter, has said his successor should ignore opposition to his leadership and focus on governing the town.
He advised Peter Davies to "get on with it and lead" despite councillors passing a vote of no confidence in him.
Mr Winter, who remained mayor through two votes of no confidence, said people would try to take power from him no matter what his policies were.
Mr Davies, an English Democrat, was elected as mayor last June.
On Monday councillors voted 36 to 11 in favour of a motion claiming Mr Davies had not been a driving force in taking Doncaster forward and that he had not given adequate leadership to improve the town.
'Everybody is fighting'
Mr Winter said: "Regardless of his politics, it's about the fact that he's the mayor. Other people want to be the mayor and because they can't be mayor they're trying to destroy him and unfortunately Doncaster Council."
In his first interview since not standing for re-election in 2009, Mr Winter said in-fighting in Doncaster Council was damaging services.
Mr Davies has promised a referendum on the mayoral system in 2011
"My job isn't to criticise Peter Davies. I can't see an occasion when I'd necessarily vote for him, but he has the popular mandate. He was elected to be the mayor of Doncaster, he should be allowed to get on with it and lead," he said.
"He and his fellow councillors should concentrate on what's needed to move Doncaster forward. Everybody is fighting trying to oppose what the mayor wishes to achieve, and because of that they've taken their eye off the ball."
On Monday a BBC survey found that almost two thirds of people in Doncaster do not want an elected mayor.
But Mr Winter defended the system.
"Individuals can get elected who don't necessarily have the skills to be mayors. We've seen that elsewhere in the country," he said.
"But the simple fact is, sometimes you get what you don't want with democracy."