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LGA CONFERENCE: TORIES ELECT NEW LEADER

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Peter Chalke has been elected as the new Conservative group leader of the Local Government Association. Mr Chalke's...
Peter Chalke has been elected as the new Conservative group leader of the Local Government Association. Mr Chalke's appointment was confirmed following the annual general meeting of the LGA Conservative group in Harrogate yesterday.

Mr Chalke replaces outgoing group leader Gordon Keymer following the completion of his three year term of office.

Mr Chalke said:

'I am delighted and honoured to have been elected to this position. It is a real privilege to serve in this capacity representing all Conservatives in local government. I must however pay tribute to Gordon Keymer who, over the past three years, has led the group with great distinction and drive and is undoubtedly part of the reason why the local party is now in such robust health.

'Indeed I am determined to use this position to take forward the real achievements that Conservatives in local government have achieved over the past couple of years. One only needs to look at the sweeping gains made last May to see the strength of local Conservatives. I look forward to repeating those successes in the years ahead when the Conservatives will become the largest party in the LGA.

'I look forward to a fruitful and productive relationship with our Conservative colleagues in Westminster. They, like I, are only too aware of the importance to the overall success of the party that Conservatives in local government play.

'I will fight for the interests of Conservatives at the very highest levels, happy, where necessary, to engage in robust dialogue with central government. It is clear that together and united we are a strong and powerful force. I look forward to the next few years with much anticipation.'

* LGA political balance 2003/4

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