WORTH Valley councillor Rebecca Poulsen is the new leader of the Conservative group on Bradford Council.

She was voted into the role at the group's annual general meeting last night, replacing Bingley councillor John Pennington.

Cllr Poulsen, who has served on the council since 2011 and has been the group's deputy leader for the past two years, said she was delighted to be elected to the top post.

She added: "I will be proud to lead the opposition to the Labour-run council and will work with all my colleagues across the Bradford district to listen to local residents and fight for their interests.

"We are in a very difficult situation with Covid-19 nationally and locally and as a group we will be there to support and where necessary challenge the council going forwards."

Cllr Poulsen, who lives in Haworth, stresses that the new role will not affect her commitment to the ward.

"The residents you represent are the most important part of being a councillor and I will continue to work hard for the community," she said.

Baildon councillor Debbie Davies was elected the group's deputy leader and Bingley Rural councillor Michael Ellis will continue as chief whip.

Cllr Pennington said after the meeting: "Coming from a Bradford business background, life at the top in politics has been a huge and sometimes shocking learning curve.

"I feel better qualified and have unencumbered freedom now to represent people by actually saying what they think."