YORK council's Conservative leader has been ousted by his party colleagues, but remains in charge of the council until later this month.

Tory councillors met two days in a row this week. Cllr Carr is understood to have lost a vote of no confidence and been replaced by Ian Gillies.

The party group confirmed this morning that Cllr Gillies had been elected group leader.

Cllr Gillies said: "On behalf of the group I would like to thank Cllr Carr for all of his hard work and for the many hours he has put in leading our joint administration.

"Our group has resolved to pull together to strengthen our position and to continue to lead an administration which has put front line services at the centre of what we do."

However Cllr Gillies, a former Lord Mayor and council leader, can only be officially ratified as council leader at a full meeting of the council - with the next to be held in late February.

Cllr Carr will remain in charge as council leader until that meeting - with major financial announcements due today revealing whether York will face council tax increase, and the budget for the year ahead.

It is also still unclear who will hold the rest of the Conservatives four seats on their joint ruling executive with the Liberal Democrats - as one seat already lay vacant and Cllr Carr's departure could leave another empty.

A spokesman said this morning that the membership would be determined "shortly".

Cllr Carr became embroiled in a row last week after sacking executive colleague Cllr Stuart Rawlings over a potential Local Plan conflict of interest, but publicly stating the executive member for children and young people had "stood down for personal reasons".

Days after that the ruling executive had to meet one member down, because Cllr Sam Lisle had resigned citing "irreconcilable differences with the leader".

That same meeting saw Cllr Gillies disagree with his party colleagues over the Local Plan, and ask for more time to consider the grave warnings from developers who said many of the homes would be undeliverable.