COUNCILLOR David Jones has been appointed leader of Bury Council.

The former police inspector has taken over from Cllr Rishi Shori who is stepping down after three years in the role.

Labour councillors, who hold most of the seats at the council, voted to appoint Cllr Jones as the new leader at a town hall meeting last night.

He said: “It’s a great honour and a privilege to be chosen to lead this council. I’m very much looking forward to playing my part in continuing to ensure that Bury is great place in which to live, work and study.”

But the Conservatives voted against the appointment, saying Cllr Jones is not the right person for the job, while the Lib Dem and independent councillors abstained from voting.

Deputy Tory leader Nick Jones raised his concerns about appointing a leader who has never served in the cabinet.

He said: "Does the proposed candidate have the relevant skills and experience to be leader of this council? Bury is at a critical time and our finances, thanks to the way this amateurish administration has run things, are at a breaking point. The future of this council is most uncertain and we are heading to an iceberg."

Cllr Jones, who has represented Unsworth ward since 2012, was chair of the licensing committee for six years.

Before being elected, he worked for the council as head of the Community Safety Team between 2006 and 2010.

Prior to that he served with Greater Manchester Police, where he was an inspector for more than 20 years before retiring as the officer in charge at Whitefield Police Station.

He was welcomed to his new role by the outgoing leader Cllr Shori, who said: "Given the challenges we face locally and nationally, David Jones is the strong, experienced voice that the council needs and I wish him all the best for the future".

In his final speech as leader, Cllr Shori thanked his colleagues at the council and his family for their support.

The 38-year-old politician told his colleagues to "choose courage over timidity".

He said: "We have got some seriously difficult decisions to make over the next few years."

But opposition leader James Daly said the outgoing leader did not achieve much while in power.

Cllr Shori is stepping down as a councillor for Radcliffe West which he has represented for a decade.

He will take up a senior non-political full-time role at Birmingham City Council.

A by-election for his seat in Radcliffe West is expected to take place in the coming months.