Tunbridge Wells Conservatives elect a new leader

Alan McDermott, the former Deputy Leader under the deposed David Jukes, has been chosen as his successor.

Councillor McDermott, who sits on the cabinet as Portfolio Holder for Planning and Transportation, has served as councillor for the ward of Brenchley & Horsmonden since 2010.

The new leader was selected by Conservative Councillors at their Annual General Meeting [AGM].

The winner will have to be ratified at next week’s TWBC Full Council meeting, where all councillors in the chamber will get a vote.

As the Conservative Party still hold a majority, Cllr McDermott  will most likely win any Full Council vote and be declared leader.

Cllr McDermott confirmed to the Times his appointment today, saying: “Yes you are correct, I have been chosen leader.”

He later added: “I am delighted to have been chosen to lead the Conservative Group. I am conscious that we have some important decisions ahead of us over the next few months and years – not least the Local Plan – and I will be seeking to involve all political groups in delivering what is best for the Borough.”

Sources in the Conservative party at last night’s meeting say he was chosen as a ‘safe pair of hands’, although others are concerned as the councillor was Mr Jukes’ Deputy, it would be ‘just business as usual for the council’.

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