By Kaye Wiggins
The leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Lambeth council is to step down from the role ahead of local elections in May.
Cllr Ashley Lumsden, who leads the main opposition to the council’s Labour administration, has been appointed as a special adviser to business secretary Vince Cable. He will continue to serve as a backbench Liberal Democrat councillor, representing Streatham Hill, if he is re-elected in May.
Cllr Alex Davies will replace Cllr Lumsden as leader of the Liberal Democrat group.
In a statement Cllr Davies said he was “proud” to lead the party into the elections. “In every part of the borough, Liberal Democrats stand up for their communities against a town hall which is more concerned with new buildings for itself than listening to residents,” he said.
“We have some excellent new candidates joining us in May, and I look forward to seeing them take on Labour in the coming weeks.”
Cllr Lumsden said it had been a “privilege” to lead his party’s group. “Alex Davies is a strong successor and I wish him well for the future,” he said.
But Labour council leader Lib Peck said Cllr Lumsden’s decision to step down showed “what a mess Lambeth Lib Dems are in.”
“He’s given a vote of no confidence to his own party,” she said. “If the Lib Dem leader doesn’t think they can win in May, why should Lambeth voters?”