THE new leader of the decimated labour group on Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council has been announced - as another leading member quits the party.

Councillor Sue Jeffrey, a ward member for South Bank, has taken over the role after former leader George Dunning tore up his Labour party membership card last week along with nine other members.

Cllr Dunning was one of several senior members of the council who was not selected to represent the party in the May election.

Now, deputy mayor Doreen Rudland has joined the ranks of disgruntled labour member to have left Labour in a tumultuous two weeks for the council group.

The veteran councillor, who had already decided not to stand in May, said: "I think it is disgraceful what has happened to those councillors who were deselected by the party.

“Ten councillors resigned last week - and I am supporting them.”

Last week's resignations came after a long-running internal dispute in the Labour Party between council leadership, and the offices of Ms Turley and Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP Tom Blenkinsop.

A vote of no confidence in leader George Dunning has been tabled by the council’s Liberal Democrat group for Thursday’s meeting of the full council.

Now the council's Labour group has appointed Cllr Jeffrey as leader and Councillor Helen McLuckie, as her deputy.

Cllr Jeffrey said: “This has been a difficult and unusual couple of weeks for the Labour Group. It’s now time to start looking forward. Both myself and Helen, as Labour’s new leadership team, are committed to providing an inclusive leadership, dedicated to listening to the communities we serve.

“Our immediate priority for all councillors over the next few days is to ensure that the Council continues to deliver the services the people of Redcar and Cleveland deserve.”