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New leader of Southampton City Council elected

Jacqui Rayment has been elected as the new leader of Southampton City Council following the shock resignation of Richard Williams at a heated meeting in the city tonight.

Richard Williams is standing down as both leader and as a city councillor. His resignation was announced during a special meeting to consider a report over allegations that he had misled the public last year.

The meeting voted Cllr Jacqui Rayment (Lab) as the new Leader of the Council. The council’s annual general meeting is scheduled for 15th May, at which point the Leader for the year 2013-2014 will be elected.

“I’d like to pay tribute to Richard for acting honourably and leaving the council today. I am humbled to have been elected until the council’s AGM. It’s a sad day for Southampton politics, but the work carries on. The administration has a clear vision for Southampton which we will continue to work towards.”

– Cllr Jacqui Rayment, new leader of Southampton City Council

New Labour Leader

Councillor Richard Williams Credit: Southampton City Council

The new Leader of Southampton City Council Councillor Richard Williams will be sworn in later today. The Labour Leader is due to meet with the Southampton leaders of Unite and Unison who have been leading a long running campaign to oppose cuts to staff pay.

The Conservatives were kicked out of power following a landslide victory to Labour in the recent local elections. The previous Leader of the Council Councillor Royston Smith has previously said that cuts to staff pay are the only way to prevent a black hole in the authorities finances.