Hastings council leader Jeremy Birch 'seriously ill' in hospital

Council leader Jeremy Birch
Image caption Councillor Jeremy Birch is believed to have suffered a stroke

The leader of Hastings Borough Council is in a medically induced coma in hospital after suffering what is thought to have been a stroke.

Councillor Jeremy Birch was taken to hospital by ambulance after he fell ill on Friday afternoon.

A Hastings Borough Council spokesman said he remained seriously ill in a coma on Tuesday, adding the authority's "thoughts are with his family".

Deputy leader Peter Chowney has taken over Mr Birch's duties.

Mr Birch has been a member of the council since 1998 and the leader for a total of 13 years, over two separate periods.

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