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New Lib Dem Leadership at County Hall

May 7, 2017 12:00 AM

New Lib Dem group leader Cllr Ian Thorn and deputy group leader Cllr Ruth HopkinsonCllr Ian Thorn is the new Liberal Democrat Wiltshire Council Group Leader. Ian is joined by Cllr Ruth Hopkinson as the new Deputy Leader. Both of them won former Conservative wards‎ in last Thursday's Wiltshire Council elections.

Cllr Thorn won in Calne Central where he took almost half the vote, having formerly represented Bradford on Avon South on Wiltshire Council. Cllr Hopkinson stormed to victory in Corsham Pickwick, winning from fourth place. Cllr Steve Oldrieve, who represents Trowbridge Paxcroft, was re-elected as Chair of the Group‎.

Speaking to the 20 strong Lib Dem Group Cllr Thorn said "I am honoured to be elected to lead the Lib Dems on Wiltshire Council and in so doing becoming the Leader of the Opposition.

"I am delighted to have been elected to lead such a strong group of talented liberals and committed community champions.

'I will be a thorn in the side of the Conservatives and together we will hold them to account, ensure the efficient and effective expenditure of our Council Tax and stand up for our environment and vulnerable people and families across Wiltshire.

'I am only sorry that my election was ‎necessary. ‎Our former Leader and Calne colleague Cllr Glenis Ansell did a fantastic job for her community, our Party and Wiltshire Council. Her narrow defeat was caused, like many others, by a Labour intervention and UKIP collapse.

"No doubt voters will learn from this. You have to vote Liberal Democrat to stop the Tories with their hard "Brexit" deal increasing prices and putting jobs, prosperity, our country's security and children's' futures at risk.

"I will work hard on Wiltshire Council and will also make the case over the next few weeks to elect my Lib Dem colleague Cllr Dr Brian Mathew as our next MP for North Wiltshire on June 8th."