Suffolk: Labour debate leadership role as election results sink in

Council leader Mark Bee

Council leader Mark Bee - Credit: Contributed

POLITICIANS from all parties have been digesting the results of last week’s county council election in Suffolk which slashed the Tory majority by 32 seats.

The Conservatives had a net loss of 16 seats – meaning their 35-seat majority came down to just three – as both Labour and UKIP picked up a significant number of seats.

All the party leaders will have been looking ahead to the future.

Mark Bee had already been confirmed as Conservative group leader in April.

He will now be confirmed as council leader at the annual meeting of the authority at the end of this month – and he has already started working on his new cabinet which is likely to show many changes from last year.

Labour will elect a group leader once all its 15 county councillors get together. Sandy Martin has done a good job leading the four-strong group in the last council – and the job will probably be his if he wants it.

However he is on Labour’s list as a potential MEP in next year’s elections to Strasbourg and he may choose to concentrate on that battle and his role as an executive member of Ipswich Council.

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Outgoing LibDem leader David Wood now has a much smaller group than before – but it is difficult to see any of his colleagues challenging him for his position and the fact that all the sitting LibDems managed to defend their seats suggests that his leadership should not be under threat.

The nine UKIP members will have to get together and elect a group leader.

The normal business of the county will continue, but political meetings will not pick up again until after the Annual Meeting of the authority on May 23.