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HULL DEFEAT SPARKS TALK OF LEADERSHIP BID

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Inglis loses power to nominate cabinet...
Inglis loses power to nominate cabinet

By Nick Golding

The leader of the worst-performing council in England is losing his grip on power.

Kingston upon Hull City Council's leader Colin Inglis (Lab) was defeated in a key Labour group vote on Monday night.

The group voted by 16 to 11 to remove Mr Inglis's power to nominate his own cabinet, and to return to a system where cabinet membership is decided by a ballot of Labour group members.

Following the defeat, it is believed as many as four councillors are considering a challenge for the leadership before the window for nominations for a two-yearly selection process closes on 12 May.

One Labour backbencher said: 'Nominations have to be in by 12 May and whoever wants to challenge will do that. Let the best man win.'

Mr Inglis, who was not available for comment, won control of the council back from the Lib Dems for Labour in 2003.

But Hull failed to move up from 'poor' in the comprehensive performance assessment last year, and is the only council in the lowest CPA category (LGC, 17 December 2004).

Carl Minns, the Liberal Democrats' deputy group leader, said: 'It all comes back to Colin's leadership style - he doesn't suffer fools gladly.'

Political turbulence at the top came in the same week as the troubled council welcomed back Jan Ormondroyd as its deputy chief executive, a new position giving her the brief of improving council services.

Ms Ormondroyd previously served as a regional director of local government practice with the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

nick.golding@emap.com

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