Change of leader in Stockport as Lib Dems take over
Cllr Mark Hunter beat Labour’s Cllr Elise Wilson in a crunch vote last night to become the authority’s leader, heralding a new era of local politics in Stockport.
The vote was required after no party managed to win an overall majority following elections in early May.
The Liberal Democrats hold 28 of the council’s 63 seats and Labour has 25.
Hunter won 31 votes to Wilson’s 25 at yesterday’s full council meeting, which put the Lib Dems back in control for the first time since 2016.
Five Conservative councillors and two from the Green Party abstained from the vote. Meanwhile, three councillors from the Heald Green Ratepayers voted for Hunter.
The new leader will appoint his cabinet in the coming days. Cllr Wendy Meikle has already been installed as deputy leader.
Wilson, who had been the leader of Stockport Council since 2019 said she was “incredibly proud” of everything her administration had achieved “during the most challenging of circumstances”.
Councillor Elise Wilson, said: “It has been my absolute honour to serve the people of Stockport as Leader since 2019. I am incredibly proud of everything we have achieved through ONE STOCKPORT, during the most challenging of circumstances. pic.twitter.com/ePCUtmvUxq
— Stockport Labour Group (@StockportLabour) May 19, 2022
This time last year, the Lib Dems failed in its bid to form an administration.
The party, which had 26 of the council’s seats at the time – one more than Labour – lost the vote on that occasion due to the authority’s Conservative councillors voting for Wilson.
Hunter described the vote as “a grubby stitch-up”.