Council Tory group elects new leader

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Derbyshire County Council’s Conservative oppositon group has elected Coun Barry Lewis as their new leader.

Mr Lewis, 43, of Wessington, who represents Wingerworth and Shirland division, was unanimously elected as group leader, on Wednesday.

Previous Tory group Leader Coun Andrew Lewer was elected as a MEP for the East Midlands in the European elections last week,

Coun Lewis was will be supported by re-elected deputy leader Coun Simon Spencer of Ashbourne, and new Group Secretary Coun Jocleyn Street, of Bagshaw, Chapel-en-le-Frith, who will also take a Shadow Cabinet role.

Coun Lewis said: “It is a great honour and humbling to be elected as Group Leader for Derbyshire County Conservatives, especially following on from a skilful Leader like Andrew.

I must pay tribute to Andrew Lewer and his exemplary Leadership of the Group and of the County Council in particular from 2009 to 2013. He led us to an historic victory, ousting Labour after 28 years.”