VIKKI Slade is to resign as BCP Council’s leader. 

The newly elected MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole has had a change of heart and will not lead the local authority for the rest of the summer. 

Mrs Slade, who will remain as a ward councillor in Broadstone to avoid a by-election – which costs money – is expected to hand the reigns over to her deputy, Millie Earl. 

But Cllr Earl will not take role as the leader for the moment. Councillors will vote for the next leader later this month. 

In a statement, she said: “I am delighted and humbled to have been elected as Member of Parliament for Mid Dorset and North Poole.   

“My main priority now is to focus on an orderly transition from being leader of BCP Council to ensure the best for residents and the council.  

“Having spent the last few days at Westminster and consulted with cross-party cabinet colleagues, I have decided to resign as leader ahead of the next council meeting in July, after which I will remain as the councillor for the Broadstone ward.  

“In the short term, if parliamentary or constituency business does need my attention, then we have a good strong deputy leader in Cllr Millie Earl, who has the confidence of the cabinet and the authority, under the council’s constitution, to take any decisions that are required in my absence. 

“Leadership of the council is a team effort and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my cabinet colleagues and reassure residents that council business will continue as usual during this period.” 

BCP Council chief executive Graham FarrantBCP Council chief executive Graham Farrant (Image: Richard Crease)

Graham Farrant, BCP Council’s chief executive, added: “A measured transition for the leader will help us to refine the planning and preparation that we had already undertaken for this scenario.   

“The process for electing a new leader involves a proposal and vote through the council meeting and we expect this to happen at the July council meeting.   

“In the meantime, services will continue to be delivered and decisions will continue to be taken as normal.” 

Mrs Slade was the first ever leader of BCP Council following the merger of the three borough councils back in April 2019.  

She was ousted as leader in a second confidence vote loss in September 2020 before the Conservatives took over the administration with Drew Mellor and Phil Broadhead. 

Then, following the Conservative’s disastrous election result in May 2023, the Lib Dems won a majority. 

Propped up by Poole People, Christchurch Independents and Bournemouth independents, Mrs Slade was elected as the leader of BCP Council once again with the Three Towns Alliance. 

Exactly who will replace her remains unclear. Mike Cox, the cabinet member for finance, has already ruled himself out of the race . 

But Millie Earl has been favourite among her colleagues to lead the administration.