Councillor Jonathan Brook has been elected leader of the Liberal Democrat group of the new Westmorland and Furness Council.

It comes after a landslide election victory for the Lib Dems on Friday, winning 36 seats to take control of the new unitary council.

Cllr Brook is currently the leader of South Lakeland District Council (SLDC), was previously the council’s portfolio holder for Housing and Innovation and this week was elected to be the new unitary councillor for the Kendal South ward.

Read more: Lib Dems dominate in South Lakeland as Conservatives have 'disappointing' day

Westmorland and Furness Council will replace the existing county and district councils from April next year.

“I’m delighted to have been elected Liberal Democrat group leader for the new Westmorland and Furness Council,” said Cllr Brook.

“The council election results were incredible, and it was truly humbling that so many local residents have put their faith in us to represent them.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a new council from scratch.

“I’m determined that this new council not only serves local residents but also gives them a much bigger say in how services are run so we can work together to make our communities even better places to live and work in.”

Read more: Westmorland and Furness election results: How South Lakeland voted

Lib Dem MP Tim Farron said: “Jonathan will be a fantastic leader, with the experience and the vision to set up this brand new council.

“Westmorland and Furness Council will be in charge of everything from building new housing for local people to providing social care for our loved ones.

“It’s a huge task to lead a council of this size but I can think of no one better equipped than Jonathan to make a real success of it.”

Cllr Brook will now be nominated by the Liberal Democrats to be the new leader of Westmorland and Furness Council at the shadow authority’s first meeting on May 17.