A COUNCIL Conservative group has started the formal process of selecting a new leader.

Tories in Burnley, part of the ruling coalition running the borough, are looking for a new boss after suspended previous postholder Cllr Andrew Newhouse pending an investigation.

His position has been temporarily taken by Whittlefield with Ightenhill ward’s Cllr Dale Ferrier.

A meeting over the weekend decided against choosing a new leader and will now shortlist and select at some point in the next two weeks.

It also launched a formal investigation into Cliviger with Worsthorne ward’s Cllr Newhouse.

Cllr Ferrier said: “The meeting decided to launch a formal selection process which is now under way. We shall shortlist and select with a result expected in the next two weeks. A formal process is under way regarding Cllr Newhouse’s suspension.”

Former UKIP representative Cllr Alan Hosker, who joined the party with two Brexit Party colleagues in January, is expected to stand for leader.

Labour opposition leader Cllr Mark Townsend has branded Cllr Newhouse’s suspension ‘a disgrace’.