Southend Lib Dem leader ousted after poor election result

THE Liberal Democrat Group on Southend City Council has ousted its leader following worse than expected results at last week’s local elections.

Carole Mulroney, Lib Dem councillor for Leigh Ward chose Wednesday’s mayor making ceremony at the civic centre to announce she had lost a leadership vote and was handing over the party reins to Paul Collins

Cllr Mulroney said: “It is with great pleasure after his stupendous win at Eastwood Park that I reintroduce to the chamber Councillor Paul Collins. In recognition of Paul’s amazing achievement last week I quite rightly cede the leadership of the Liberal Democrat Group in his favour. I’m sure he will make an absolutely great leader.”

The Lib Dems had poorer than expected results at the elections falling from five seats to four. It is believed a leadership vote took place on Monday but Cllr Mulroney declined to reveal the outcome until Wednesday, saying only that “discussions” had taken place.

It is unclear whether the group will support any attempt to form a coalition administration but speaking earlier this week, Cllr Mulroney said: “We’ve had good working relationships with the Labour Group and the Independent Group and I’m sure we don’t want those to not go forward.

We have had three groups who worked well and coalesced together. I’m quite happy to work with other people going forward.”

Cllr Collins was unavailable to comment.

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Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter