Dorset

New leader appointed at Purbeck District Council

A new leader has been appointed at Purbeck District Council after a by-election made the Conservatives the largest party at the Dorset authority.

Lib Dem councillor David Budd stepped down as leader at Tuesday's council meeting after the Tories gained a seat in the poll in Lytchett Matravers.

Conservative Garry Suttle was elected, unopposed, as leader, while Barry Quinn has become deputy.

Mr Budd said it had been "an honour and a privilege" to lead the council.

He said: "In response to the wishes of the electorate, I am standing down from my position as leader of the council with immediate effect.

"I would like to thank my colleagues and council officers for their support during the past two and a quarter years."

Conservative councillor Peter Webb was elected in the Lytchett Matravers ward on 7 July, beating Lib Dem rival John Taylor, giving the Tories 12 seats compared with the Lib Dem's 10.

But with two independent councillors, there is still no overall control.

The election was triggered after Liberal Democrat councillor Mark Gracey resigned in April for health reasons.

Mr Gracey also resigned from Lytchett Matravers Parish Council.

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