Gerald Vernon-Jackson to quit as leader of Portsmouth City Council after Lib Dems election setbacks

Gerald Vernon Jackson
Gerald Vernon Jackson
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CITY council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson says he will stand down, paving the way for the Conservatives to gain power.

Cllr Vernon-Jackson, who is in charge of the ruling Lib Dems, is to quit after a decade in charge at a meeting of the full council on Tuesday at Portsmouth Guildhall.

He said the reason behind the decision was because the Lib Dems has lost its majority in the city, following the local elections on Thursday.

As reported, the party lost four seats of its 23 seats, bringing its numbers down to 19, which is now less than the total number of seats occupied by Ukip, the Tories and Labour.

Cllr Vernon-Jackson said: ‘We want to make sure there is a stable administration.

‘There needs to be a leadership election on Tuesday and I need to make sure that is an open election, therefore I will stand down to make sure that will happen.’

A private Lib Dem group meeting is to be held at 5pm tonight to decide whether he will stay in charge of the Lib Dems or if someone else should take over.

It comes after veteran politician Mike Hancock lost his seat as independent councillor for Fratton ward, a position he held for 43 years, to Ukip’s Julie Swan.