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Labour leader Sandra Gage stands down after only six months at helm

PUBLISHED: 10:28 03 December 2017 | UPDATED: 11:24 03 December 2017

Sandra Gage. Picture: SU ANDERSON

Sandra Gage. Picture: SU ANDERSON

Archant

The leader of the largest single-party opposition group at Endeavour House has stood down after only six months in the role.

Sandra Gage became deputy leader of the Labour Group on Suffolk County Council in May after Sarah Adams lost her St Margaret’s seat in May’s elections.

A month later she took over as leader after Sandy Martin won the Ipswich parliamentary seat in the general election.

Ms Adams returned to the county council in September when she won the St John’s division by-election after Mr Martin stood down from the county council to concentrate on his work as an MP.

Labour insiders now expect Ms Adams to take over as group leader in a leadership election before Thursday’s meeting of the county council.

Ms Gage is expected to revert to her previous role as group spokesperson for highways and transport – she is a former county council highways official and transport is a major interest for her.

The changes in the Labour group are expected to be limited – current deputy leader Peter Gardiner is to remain in that role giving advice to the new leader. He is a former leader of Ipswich Borough Council.

Ms Gage is understood to have told colleagues on the Labour Group that it was always her intention not to seek re-election as leader next May, but has now decided to step down immediately.

She represents Ipswich’s Rushmere division at the county – and the same area on Ipswich Borough Council.

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