YORK'S Conservative leader says he is "in talks" on renewing the deal to run the city council with the Lib Dems, after councillors failed to agree on a new leader.

Cllr Ian Gillies was elected leader of City of York Council's Conservative group earlier this month, but last night could not get enough votes to become the council leader - with the Liberal Democrats and opposition councillors voting down his nomination.


With his predecessor Cllr David Carr resigning and accusing his fellow Conseravtives of betrayal, that left with authority with no leader and Lib Dem deputy council leader Cllr Andrew Waller in temporary charge.

A second Conservative councillor, Suzie Mercer, also resigned from the party.

This morning,  Cllr Gillies said his group was now in talks with the Lib Dems.

Cllr Gillies said he was "saddened" by Cllr Carr's actions. 

He added: "However despite last night's disruption the joint administration remains unbroken and both groups are seizing this opportunity to re-boot our arrangements for the last 15 months of this council. 

"We passed our budget last night, which represented a considered balance between raising council tax to support the needs of residents whilst recognising the burden of increases on those on low or fixed incomes, and we look forward to a renewed successful cooperation between our two groups going forward."

Cllr Keith Aspden - the Lib Dem group leader who was suspended from the executive last year -  said that after the two shock resignations last night they thought councillors needed time to reflect before voting on a new leader.

“Unfortunately, the Conservative Group did not support a deferral and therefore we felt we had no option but to vote against the nomination," he said.

Now he and Cllr Waller will be starting talks with Cllr Gillies as leader of the Conservative group - and will be "as supportive as we can be to make sure the city has strong leadership."

However, he said they would be talking about policies the leaders want to see implemented - like promises of no cuts to libraries in the city.