Redcar and Cleveland council leader George Dunning deselected by Labour

image captionGeorge Dunning said he was "devastated" to be deselected

The leader of Redcar and Cleveland Council George Dunning has been deselected by the Labour Party.

His deputy Sheelagh Clarke has also been deselected along with councillors Mark Hannon and Vic Jefferies, ahead of the local elections in May.

The BBC recently revealed the findings of an internal Labour report that found the local group was "dysfunctional" with "serious failings".

The local Labour Party said it was time for a change and a new team was needed.

Mr Dunning, who has been a Labour councillor in Redcar for 25 years, said the decision was "devastating".

'Wealth of talent'

He said: "The Labour Party's goal here in the North East for the last five years has been to get rid of George Dunning."

But a statement from the party said: "Local Labour party members have begun choosing a fresh, exciting and committed new team.

"Council leader George Dunning and deputy leader Sheelagh Clarke have served the public for many years with great dedication and have much to be proud of.

"However, local Labour Party members have voted to replace them with other candidates for the ward of Teesville.

"We have a wealth of talent in the Labour Party and the bar has been set very high this year. The people of Redcar and Cleveland deserve the very best representation for the party."

In Redcar and Cleveland, Labour has been accused of being a party at "war with itself".

In December, two other local councillors Steve Goldswain and Norman Pickthall were also deselected.

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