MARIE Rimmer has been replaced as council leader by her deputy Barrie Grunewald after a shock vote among local Labour party members.
Coun Rimmer was forced to step down following Monday night’s vote.
It is believed she had expected her being voted back into office to be a formality.
But a majority of members instead threw their weight behind Coun Grunewald, who has been Coun Rimmer’s deputy since the party won back full control of the council in 2009.
Coun Grunewald confirmed the announcement via Twitter.
He wrote: “Elected Leader of Lab group @sthelenscouncil. Huge tribute and respect to Cllr Rimmer who I replace. I am grateful 4 support of colleagues.”
More to follow.