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Canterbury City Council's new leader is Conservative Simon Cook

Simon Cook has tonight been voted in as the new leader of Canterbury City Council.

The Conservative, who retained his seat on the council on Friday, has tweeted to say he is "extaordinarily humbled" to have been chosen for the role.

He will replace outgoing leader John Gilbey, who chose not to stand in last week's local elections.

Simon Cook, the new leader of Canterbury City Council
Simon Cook, the new leader of Canterbury City Council

Members of the Canterbury Conservative Group took a vote tonight, with Cllr Cook's main challengers thought to have Andrew Cook, Rosemary Doyle and Pat Todd, who has been named deputy leader.

As head of the group, Simon Cook will automatically become city council leader, with the Tories enjoying a huge majority after last week's success at the polls.

He was first elected to the council in 2011 to represent North Nailbourne.

Following changes to the ward boundaries, he saw off stiff competition from Lib Dem Mike Sole in the newly-formed Nailbourne ward to narrowly win his seat last week.

Cllr Cook, who lives in Bridge, will take charge as the council moves away from its previous executive-style of governance to a a new committee system.

He had been a member of the old executive committee but was kicked off following a number of rumoured run-ins with Cllr Gilbey.

He was elected leader at a meeting of the Canterbury Conservative Group tonight.

Tankerton councillor Neil Baker has been voted in as the group's new chief whip after gaining more support than Jenny Samper.

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