CLLR Rachel Bailey will step down as leader of Cheshire East Council's Conservative group on May 22.

The member for Audlem announced she would step down at the CEC Conservative group's annual meeting tonight, May 7. 

It follow's last week's local elections, which saw the group lose control of the council for the first time in its 10-year history.

In a statement released tonight, the Conservatives said: “At tonight’s Conservative group annual general meeting, Cllr Rachel Bailey announce that she would be standing down as leader of the Conservative group but will continue as CEC leader until the full annual council meeting on May 22.

“Cllr Rachel Bailey thanked the group members for their ongoing support, however she feels that having fulfilled her commitments to the Conservative group, it is an opportune moment to step aside to enable a new leader to take on this important role.

“Cllr Bailey received a standing ovation from all members of the group.

“Following Cllr Bailey’s announcement, Cllr Janet Clowes was unanimously elected as the new Conservative group leader.”

CEC now has 34 Conservatives - 19 fewer than before last week's election.

Cllr Clowes, member for Wynbunbury, recently served as cabinet member for adult social care and integration.

CEC's new leader is set to be elected at full council on May 22.