Leeds Council boss Keith Wakefield to stand down

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Leeds City Council leader Keith Wakefield has told colleagues he intends to stand down from the role.

Coun Wakefield broke the news to council colleagues yesterday and is understood to have been in contact with other bodies where he sits, such as the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, to confirm his intentions today.

In a message to his Twitter followers this morning, he said: “I will continue to be Leader of the Council until 21 May when a new Leader will be elected.”

He first became leader of the Labour group in 2003 and has led the council since 2010.

Coun Wakefield has also been a key architect of efforts to get West Yorkshire councils to work more closely together and has played a pivotal role in negotiations with the Government to devolve powers and funding from Whitehall to the region.

More to follow.