Kirklees Lib Dem leader Kath Pinnock steps down as leader

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Kath Pinnock has stepped down as Kirklees Liberal Democrat leader.

The Cleckheaton ward councillor announced she would step aside from her role at the group’s annual meeting last night (Wednesday).

Colne Valley councillor Nicola Turner was elected as leader following a free vote of members.

Golcar councillor Andrew Marchington was chosen as the group’s new deputy leader.

Coun Pinnock said: “After 23 years, I have decided that it is time to hand over the reins of leadership.

“It is been a real privilege to lead so many hard working and loyal Liberal Democrats down the years and I thank each and every one for their commitment and support.

“This is very much a planned transition of leadership within the group.

“I was absolutely determined to step aside only when the local party and council group were in good health and our convincing defence of all five seats in the local elections last week clearly signals that we have turned the corner after a few hard years.

“Kirklees Liberal Democrats are now ready to look to the future and I am delighted to see Coun Turner take us on from here.

“She is already an excellent councillor and will be an excellent party and group Leader and a strong liberal voice on the council.

“I will continue to be fully involved in the running of the party and the council group and look forward to continuing to represent the people of Cleckheaton and the Spen Valley for many years to come.”

Coun Pinnock was first elected to Kirklees Council in 1987 when she was the only Liberal Democrat councillor in North Kirklees.

She became Lib Dem group leader in 1991 and nine years later the first female leader of Kirklees Council, a role she held between 2000 and 2006.