The contenders to replace Julie Dore as leader of Sheffield Council

Labour councillors in Sheffield are gearing up to replace their Leader after Julie Dore announced she is quitting.

Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 12:07 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 12:31 pm

Coun Dore will not seek re-election in her Park and Arbourthorne ward in May’s local elections. She’s been a councillor for 20 years, nine of them in charge.

She said she would remain as Council Leader until the local elections but there seems to be unrest from some of her colleagues who want a fresh start now.

One Labour insider said: “It wouldn’t be right for us to have a Leader who isn’t going to be there the day after the election. We want to go into the election campaign with our new Leader.”

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Councillors Terry Fox and Mazher Iqbal

If Coun Dore insists on staying put, her own councillors would have to mount a vote of no confidence against her.

Councillors who want to become Leader will put their name forward and Labour Group will decide.

If they do choose a new Leader now, it would mean some uncertainty at the council. They would only be in post for three months before the election and would be working alongside interim chief executive Charlie Adan.

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An obvious choice would be Coun Terry Fox. He’s Deputy Leader and last year challenged Coun Dore for the leadership but failed.

Coun Bob Johnson, Cabinet member for transport and development, is also seen as a frontrunner and is already spearheading some of the big issues in the city including the Clean Air Zone, Local Plan and buses.

His Cabinet colleague Mazher Iqbal could be interested as his business and investment portfolio has put him at the helm of major projects such as Heart of the City and the Castlegate regeneration.

Former Cabinet member Coun Ben Curran has political ambitions and ran against Dan Jarvis to be Labour’s candidate for the Sheffield City Region Mayor.

There could also be changes to the Liberal Democrats’ leadership. Coun Penny Baker is interim Leader while Coun Shaffaq Mohammed is working as an MEP. If Brexit does go through, his MEP role will come to an end and he will return to Sheffield.