Dorset

Poole council leader replaced by party colleagues

Councillor Elaine Atkinson Image copyright @cllrelaine
Image caption Councillor Elaine Atkinson said she would miss the role as leader "enormously"

Poole Borough Council's leader has been ousted by her own party just days after they gained enough seats to take full control of the authority.

Councillor Elaine Atkinson claimed her Tory colleagues thought her efforts were not "Poole-centric enough".

She is set to be replaced as party and council leader by the group's education chief, councillor Janet Walton.

Mrs Atkinson, who had been council leader for four years, said she was "proud" of her record.

Ms Walton was nominated at a Tory group meeting on Saturday and is expected to be endorsed by the full council on 20 May.

Andy Ross, spokesman for Poole Conservative Association, thanked Mrs Atkinson for four years of "great service" and "wished her well".

In a statement, Mrs Atkinson, who remains a councillor for Penn Hill, said she would miss the role "enormously".

She added: "I am, however, saddened that this was not enough for the Poole Conservative group and my efforts were seen as not Poole-centric enough."

The Conservatives became the ruling party after winning 11 seats in Thursday's local elections. They hold 32 of the 42 seats.

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