Minister for Portsmouth Praises New Leader as Lib Dems Claim New Deputy Mayor 'Political'.

Minister for Portsmouth, Michael Fallon MP

The Minister for Portsmouth, Michael Fallon MP, has today praised the new Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Donna Jones.

In an exclusive interview with TBG on Donna's first full day in office Mr Fallon told The Blue Guerilla:

"It is important that all parties pull together in the city to ensures the best outcomes for the city."

"I congratulate Donna Jones on becoming Council Leader and I look forward to working with her on our ambitious agenda for Portsmouth."

"It is now important that all parties now pull together to help unlock the opportunities for jobs and growth that exist in Portsmouth."

In a change of policy, Councillor Jones this morning held her first Cabinet meeting in public with fellow portfolio holders.

One of those portfolio holders at this morning's meeting is Copnor Councillor and new Cabinet Member for Environment and Community Safety, Robert New.

In another TBG exclusive Robert told The Blue Guerilla:

"I'm thrilled to have been chosen to be the cabinet member for Environment and Community Safety, allowing me to truly build on the work already done within this portfolio as Shadow Spokesperson."

"There's much that needs to be done, improved, reviewed and got back on track, especially after an absence of Leadership for nearly a year from the previous administration."

"I'm positive that moving forward, although difficult, will be positive and transparent."

Immediately after the meeting Rob will be traveling to Newark to help with the final hours of campaigning in a crucial by-election.

In one other piece of news from the city this morning its emerged that the new Leader of the Opposition in the city, Gerald Vernon Jackson, has accused the Labour, UKIP and Conservative Groups of launching a "political coup" by rejecting Tory turncoat Sandra Stockdale who was put forward to be Deputy Mayor yesterday morning.

As reported on TBG yesterday, the role instead went to former Labour Mayor David Horne.

Councillor Jackson told TBG this morning that:

"To do a party political coup to remove the Deputy Lord Mayor elect and put in someone from a different party is making the role a political one and that is unfortunate."