Liberal Democrat James MacCleary, previously the deputy leader of Lewes District Council, became the new council leader at a meeting on Monday evening. Previous council leader Zoe Nicholson, who is a member of the Green Party, has stepped down and become his deputy.
The job swap was planned in advance as part of the power-sharing agreement that came into effect last year when opposition councillors teamed up to take control from the Conservatives. Their ‘Co-operative Alliance’ of Green, Labour, Lib Dem and independent councillors currently holds 21 seats on the council, while the Conservatives have 19. One independent councillor is not part of the alliance.