Change in leadership heralds new beginning as Labour rebuild begins.

County Durham Labour is under new leadership.

Carl Marshall was elected Leader at a Group meeting this morning (Saturday May 15), replacing Cllr Simon Henig, who stood down this week. Cllr Marshall will be aided by new Deputy Leader, Rob Crute, replacing Alan Napier, who has retired.

Carl, 40, has been a member for Stanley for 17 years and for the past four led the Council’s Economic Regeneration Portfolio and represented the North East Combined Authority on the Transport for the North Board.

Cllr Marshall said: “To win the backing of County Durham Labour is an honour and a privilege and something I do not take lightly.

“It’s been a difficult few weeks, not just in County Durham but the whole country. We’ve heard what people have said and it’s important that we work collaboratively across political divides to ensure County Durham remains one of the best councils in the country.

“We all need to work harder than ever to help businesses and communities as we recover from the devastating impact of the pandemic and ensure we continue to deliver on the plans put in place to create more and better jobs.”

Cllr Crute represents Blackhall on Durham County Council and has been a councillor for 25 years. He represents Blackhall and has been Chair of the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

He said: “I’d like to thank County Durham Labour for putting faith in Carl and I as we work to rebuild the trust of people across this county. To stand unopposed was a clear statement of unity, a declaration that we stand together ready for the effort that lies ahead.”

County Durham Labour will next week seek formal meetings with other political parties to agree the shape and structure of Durham County Council going forward.