Dorset

Dorset County Council elects new Conservative leader

Rebecca Knox Image copyright Dorset County Council
Image caption Rebecca Knox, county councillor for Beaminster, was elected group leader after Mr Gould's surprise defeat

Dorset County Council has elected a new leader after its previous leader lost his seat in the local elections.

Conservative Robert Gould was beaten by Liberal Democrat Jon Andrews, although his party retained overall council control.

New group leader Rebecca Knox, who represents Beaminster, was elected leader of the council at the authority's first meeting since 4 May.

Peter Wharf was appointed deputy leader at the meeting on Thursday.

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Image caption The Conservative Party retained control of Dorset County Council after winning 32 of the 46 seats in the local elections

The Tories retained control of the county council after winning 32 of the 46 seats.

Mr Gould lost his Sherborne Town seat by 22 votes as Mr Andrews gained it with 1,493.

The local election took place amidst plans to reorganise local government in Dorset with two unitary authorities.

The authority has said it will not be revealing plans for the restructure until after the general election on 8 June.

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