Portsmouth’s new lord mayor speaks of his pride

Lieutenant Colonel Nick Grace leads Royal Marine musicians on board Britannia

Nick’s swansong on Britannia is a proud moment

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THE new Lord Mayor of Portsmouth has spoken of his pride about taking up the ceremonial role for the next year.

Councillor Steven Wylie has replaced Cllr Lynne Stagg after her term in office after all members of the city council supported the decision at this morning’s mayor making ceremony.

Cllr Wylie said of his new position to a packed out audience at Portsmouth Guildhall: ‘I am very proud and honoured to be your Lord Mayor.

‘I am also delighted that my wife Liz has said yes to being the Lady Mayoress.’

Cllr Wylie said he is dedicating his time in office to his mother who passed away shortly after last year’s mayor making ceremony as she instilled in him the need to work hard.

The causes he is supporting this year are the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, the Salvation Army, Pompey in the Community as well as play centres and youth clubs in Portsmouth.

Cllr Wylie said: ‘All these charities work to help young people and the elderly and the families of Portsmouth.’

But in an interesting turn of events the ruling Lib Dems’ bid to have Cllr Sandra Stockdale as deputy lord mayor was quashed by Labour, which backed by the Conservatives and Ukip, opted instead for Labour councillor David Horne to hold the position.

And as those three parties have a majority on the council, their vote was carried.

A council meeting is to be held later today to decide its future leadership, with the tories favourites to claim control because it has the backing of Ukip and Labour.

Lib Dem leader, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, who is stepping down as leader of the city council today, thought the decision to install Cllr Horne as deputy lord mayor was a ‘political coup’ and believed Labour ‘had been bought’ in return for the party supporting the Conservatives taking power.

‘To do a party political coup to remove the deputy lord mayor select and put in someone from a different party is making that role a political one and that is unfortunate,’ Cllr Vernon-Jackson said.

‘It’s not in the best interests of Portsmouth.’