THE Cotswold Tories have announced a new leader 18 months out from the district's elections.

Cllr Tony Berry has taken up the post leading Conservatives on the council with Cllr Sue Jepson remaining as deputy leader.

The change comes in advance of the next district council elections, which take place in May 2023.

Cllr Berry was briefly leader of Cotswold District Council before the 2019 local elections which saw the Liberal Democrats take control of the council.

He said: "I am delighted to be back as leader of the Conservative Group.

"I was only leader of the council for eight months, so I feel I have unfinished business.

"The Lib Dems are making a complete mess of running CDC.

"Their tax, borrow, and spend agenda is hurting local residents and they are failing to deliver for the people of the Cotswolds.

"Sue Jepson and I are keen and determined to offer residents a fresh and credible alternative at the next election."

Cllr Jepson added: "I am absolutely delighted that Cllr Berry is the new leader of the Conservative group, and I will be doing everything I can working with him in my role as deputy leader."

The announcement comes after Cllr Richard Morgan resigned as CDC Conservative group leader last month to enable him to fully concentrate on his business.

Cllr Morgan said: “I congratulate Cllr Berry on his new position, and I am looking forward to supporting him as much as possible.”