Out! York council leader ousted by colleagues – former Lord Mayor set to take over

Ian Gillies (left) takes over from David Carr as leader
30 Jan 2018 @ 8.16 pm
| News, Politics

The leader of York council has been dramatically rejected by his own party.

David Carr is set to be ousted as head of City of York Council after he lost the confidence of his fellow Conservative councillors.

He remains as council leader at the moment. But he has lost his position as Conservative Group leader, being replaced by executive member Ian Gillies.

Cllr Gillies is expected to become leader of the council following a vote at full council, which will be the date of the annual Budget Council on February 22.

Cllr Gillies said:

  • On behalf of the group I would like to thank Cllr Carr for all of his hard work and for the many hours he has put in leading our joint administration.

    Our group has resolved to pull together to strengthen our position and to continue to lead an administration which has put front line services at the centre of what we do.

The complete membership of the four Conservative councillors on the ruling Executive will be determined shortly.

Cllr Carr caused widespread dismay in the Conservative Group after summarily sacking Stuart Rawlings as the education, children & young people portfolio holder – a story broken by YorkMix a week ago.

In his original statement, Cllr Carr had said the education lead had stepped down due to personal reasons.

That was flatly contradicted by Cllr Rawlings, leading to accusations that the leader had misled the public. Cllr Sam Lisle then resigned his place on the executive in response.

New boss in place

Ian Gillies becomes Lord Mayor of York in 2014. Photograph: City of York Council

YorkMix understands that a vote of no confidence went against David Carr at a Conservative Group meeting.

The regional party HQ was also said to want Cllr Carr out as leader.

Once he had been deposed as Conservative leader, the group needed to choose his successor.

And it emerged on Wednesday night (January 30) that Ian Gillies, the executive member for transport and planning, has become the new leader of the Conservative group – with the leadership of City of York Council to follow.

Mr Gillies, who lives in Upper Poppleton, has been on the council for more than a decade, having first been elected in May 2007.

He represents the Rural West York ward, is a former director of Visit York, and was Lord Mayor in 2014-15.

Controversial choice

[arve url=”https://youtu.be/KeQ2CKsD1WI” title=”City of York Council Executive, 25 January 2018″ /]

To some, Cllr Gillies will be a controversial choice.

He was previously group leader of the Conservative Group on the council, but was asked to stand down by local party officials in 2014 over concern about his effectiveness and track record.

Cllr Chris Steward took over from him as leader when Cllr Gillies became Lord Mayor.

More recently Cllr Gillies rebelled against his own executive over the recommendations for the draft Local Plan on Thursday (January 25).