Derby City Council leader Paul Bayliss removed by party

Paul Bayliss
Image caption Paul Bayliss had been city council leader since May 2012

Derby City Council's leader has been removed from his post by his own party.

At a meeting of the Labour group, Paul Bayliss was replaced by his deputy Ranjit Banwait.

At Thursday's local elections Labour only managed to maintain its overall number of seats, losing two to UKIP but gaining two elsewhere.

Mr Banwait said his priority was to deal with large cuts in funding. Mr Bayliss declined to comment but admitted he was disappointed.

'Higher calibre'

The authority has said it is facing £81m of cuts in the next three years and is planning to cut about 350 jobs - on top of 1,200 jobs lost since 2010.

BBC Radio Derby's political correspondent Chris Doidge said: "Paul Bayliss cut a dejected figure once the results were known on Friday morning, he knew Labour should have done better.

Image copyright (C) British Broadcasting Corporation
Image caption Philip Hickson said he has the experience to carry on leading the Conservative group

"That said, the coup is undoubtedly a surprise, even if Ranjit Banwait's ambition to lead was hardly disguised."

Meanwhile, Derby's Conservative leader Philip Hickson has held on to his job following a vote among Tory councillors.

Mr Hickson said: "People from time to time think they can do a better job than you and they're entitled to throw their hat in the ring.

"[But] my colleagues clearly thought I was the right man for the job and I remain in post."

Mr Hickson was challenged for the leadership by Phil Bailey, a councillor for Chellaston.

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