|New Leader, Cllr Harris|
In a deliberate show of unity he was proposed by Cllr Richard Willis and supported by Cllr Jeanette Skeats, new Group Whip and Deputy Leader respectively. Cllr David Stevens was re-elected as Group Chairman.
Cllr Harris said, "The energy, knowledge and innovation within the Conservative Group is awesome," adding, "the Conservative Group is united in our strategy to continue to set the local political agenda and to hold the minority Labour administration to account."
|New Whip, Cllr Willis|
However former Labour mayor Tony Jones suggests the triathlete may be forced to into a 'chicken run' from his seat at forthcoming local elections.
|New Deputy, Cllr Skeats|
LibDem PPC Gareth Epps calls it: "a huge promotion for Tim Harris, and a big test" considering "it suggests a real weakening of the position of the hapless Reading East MP and his proxies in the Civic."
Amidst allegations of deep internal divisions among tories over the contentious deselection of Cllr Willis' ward colleague, Cllr Harris explained his neutrality in that matter enabled him to be the unity candidate.
Having waited an age for the eventual departure of Cllr Cumpsty after his failure to build support for coalition politics in Reading, the new Conservative leader faces a race against time to establish his imprint in time for the next round of local elections