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New leader for Allerdale Borough Council

Mike Johnson

A new leader has been elected for Allerdale Borough Council.

His election follows a vote at a meeting of the full council on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 where an urgent motion to consider the election of a leader of the council was submitted.

The meeting descended into chaos after independent councillor Stephen Stoddart accused the authority’s Conservative group of ‘stealing the council’.

A Conservative councillor, Mr Johnson previously served as the council’s deputy leader and is also the executive member for economic growth, community development and placemaking.

Marion Fitzgerald, the executive member for policy, governance and people resources, has been appointed as the new deputy leader of the council.

The West Cumbrian authority has been without an official leader since February last year, following the resignation of former Independent councillor Mrs Fitzgerald from the position.

Mrs Fitzgerald joined the Conservative Party six months later, explaining she was doing so as a result of the “negativity and obstructiveness” of the council’s Independent group, leaving her with “no alternative” but to join one of Allerdale’s political parties.