Stroke forces York council leader to give up the role

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YORK Council leader Chris Steward has stepped down from the role following a stroke, his Conservative colleagues announced tonight.

Coun Steward, 36, became council leader last May after the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats agreed to run the city as a coalition following local elections which saw Labour lose its majority.

Copmanthorpe councillor David Carr was elected the new leader of the Conservative group tonight after Coun Steward stood down and will be formally elected council leader later this month.

Coun Carr said: “The Group’s thoughts first and foremost are with Chris Steward and his family.

“Chris has done a superb job as leader steering both our group and, for the past year, our new coalition administration.

“We look forward to welcoming Chris back to active service as soon as his health allows.

“I consider it an honour to have the opportunity to lead the Conservative Group and I would like to thank my colleagues for their vote of confidence. I certainly don’t underestimate the challenges we face as a Council one year into our joint administration with the Liberal Democrats.

“I’m also aware of the challenges presented to me personally by this new role. However, I am confident that I have both the ability and energy to take on the leadership and I very much look forward to the challenge.”