The leader of Newcastle City Council is on rocky ground after suffering a landslide defeat that puts his future in jeopardy.
Nick Forbes, who has headed the Labour-run local authority since 2011, was heavily beaten in a party selection battle in his Arthur's Hill ward last night (Tuesday 8 February).
It means he is currently unable to stand for re-election as a councillor this May, unless he finds another seat somewhere else in the city.
Although, there would still be major doubts over whether he could hold onto his position as leader - having already faced a challenge last year and seen his long-serving deputy ousted.
Sources within the Labour Party told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) Councillor Forbes lost 13-4 on Tuesday night, in a vote among party members, to local activist Abdul Samad.
It was also suggested Councillor Forbes has led the city Labour group since 2007 and became council leader in 2011, when the party took back control from the Liberal Democrats.
During his tenure as leader, he helped secure the region's first devolution deal for the North of Tyne.
He has also set Newcastle an ambitious target of reaching net zero emissions by 2030 and has been an advocate for major transformation policies, such as the planned pedestrianisation of Grey Street.
Much of his reign has been spent battling major budget cuts from central government, which have led the council to slash more than £300m of spending over the past decade.
Councillor Forbes has released a statement in which he says it had been a 'huge privilege' to represent the Arthur’s Hill area of Newcastle for the past 22 years, and that he was 'immensely sad' the Labour party had chosen a different candidate for Arthur's Hill.
He went on to say: “The Labour Party’s selection processes in the city have not yet been completed and a number of party members have already approached me asking if I will stand in a different ward in the city.
"I would now like to take some time to consider these options for the future. In the meantime, I will continue to serve as Leader of the Council for the remainder of my term of office as an Arthur’s Hill Labour and Co-operative Party councillor."