TWO of York’s political big guns are into the home stretch in their charity weight-loss challenge.

City of York Council leader James Alexander and the authority’s cabinet member for finance and performance, Coun Dafydd Williams, are hoping to raise £2,500 for York Hospital’s special care baby unit in a friendly competition to see which of them can shed the most pounds over a six-month period ending on July 1.

The challenge began on New Year’s Day and, three-and-a-half months on, Coun Alexander has lost just under a quarter of his body weight and Coun Williams has lost about an eighth.

The pair have raised £728 towards their target, with details at

Coun Williams said: “When politicians talk about tightening their belts, people often say that process should start with the politicians themselves, although I don’t imagine people would think this would be taken so literally.

“We are raising money for a great cause which is important to each of our families.”

Coun Alexander said he is having to buy new clothes as his suits no longer fit, saying: “I am taking the challenge seriously - we don’t want to let anybody down.”