The leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Ronnie Nicholson, has today stepped down as leader of the Dumfries and Galloway Labour Party.
Following his resignation, he nominated former MSP and councillor the Nith Ward, Elaine Murray to the post, with unanimous backing from the group.
Councillor Nicholson has been leader of the group for the last 10 years and been leader of the council for the last three, decided to step down from his role and nominated Councillor Murray to take over the post.
Speaking after the decision Ronnie said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to be leader of the Labour group and leader of the council over the last few years. It has been a difficult journey but one I have relished. With negotiations on-going for control of the council I decided it was time to take a step back and allow someone new to take the role.
“I was delighted that my nomination of Elaine was not only accepted but agreed by all members of the group. Elaine has a wealth of experience which she brings to the role and I am in no doubt she will lead this group to bigger and better things.
“I will obviously continue in my role as a councillor and will be working with the people of North West Dumfries and representing their views and concerns.”
Councillor Murray commented: “I would like to take this chance to thank Ronnie for his fantastic leadership not just of the Labour group but also of the council. He has made some incredible progress given the difficult financial circumstances Dumfries and Galloway has faced and that is entirely down to his vision and leadership. He has left a legacy which I will strive to follow.
“I am looking forward to leading the Dumfries and Galloway Labour group in the council. We have set out our priorities during the election and I will be looking to implement as many as possible over the next five years.
“After the election and with no party having a majority it is vitally important that the Labour group stands up for the people of Dumfries and Galloway and that is exactly what I intend to do.
Councillor Murray will take over as leader with immediate effect, whilst Ronnie will maintain his role throughout the on-going talks for the administration of the Council.
Also elected to the position of deputy leader of the group is Councillor Archie Dryburgh.
He said: “I am honoured to have been elected as deputy leader of the Dumfries and Galloway Labour Group here at the council. Elaine and I will be working together over the next five years to get as many of the Labour priorities into action as possible.”