CUMBRIA has a Labour leader for the first time in seven years following an acrimonious split between the former ruling alliance.

Councillor Stewart Young, leader of the county council’s Labour group, has been voted in as the new cabinet leader.

Tory councillor Tim Stoddard, and his administration, was booted out by a vote of no confidence at a meeting of full cabinet in Kendal this morning.

The position of deputy leader has been taken up by Labour councillor Anne Burns after Liberal Democrat, Joan Stocker, and coun Stoddard both rejected the two deputy positions available.

The situation has arisen following a public fallout between couns Stoddard and Stocker, triggered by coun Stoddard dismissing coun Stocker from her portfolio responsibilities in the wake of accountancy errors being flagged up by an audit commission inspection.

The council’s constitution states that a proportionately representative cabinet should now be formed – as no new alliances have been formed between parties.

Of the ten cabinet positions available, Labour should have five, the Conservatives four, and the Liberal Democrats one.

However both the Conservatives and the liberal Democrats declined to nominate councillors to fill their allocated positions.

The cabinet now consists of five Labour councillors – Stewart Young, Anne Burns, Barbara Cannon, Alan Clark and Tim Knowles.