Labour elect Peter Marland as new leader

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Milton Keynes Labour Party has chosen a new leadership team as it gets ready for decisive council elections next year.

Councillor Peter Marland, of the Wolverton ward, has been selected to take over the leadership reigns from Councillor Norman Miles, with Councillor Hannah O’Neill taking over as deputy leader.

The decision comes after Mr Miles called time on his leadership. He will take the position of Labour Group chairman.

Mr Marland, who lives in New Bradwell, has been a member of Milton Keynes Council since 2011.

He said: “It is an incredible honour and privilege to lead Milton Keynes Labour Party. MK Council faces enormous financial pressures over the next few years.

“My role will be setting out a new, radical agenda of how a Labour-led city would look, how we promote aspiration and tackle the challenges of a growing city with a diverse population.

“Put simply I want Labour to set a fresh, positive agenda of value for money services in line with the dynamism of Milton Keynes, rather than the managerial approach to decline and pessimism the city’s current leadership adopts.”

Stepping down from his role as leader after five years at the helm, Mr Miles wished his replacement luck.

He said: “After five years as leader of MK Labour Group I believe the time is right to hand over leadership of the Labour Party to the next generation.

“I am extremely proud to have led the party through some difficult times, but now is the right time to make the transition in the run up to the vital 2014 elections.”

Ms O’Neill added: “I am proud to be part of a new leadership team for MK Labour Party. I will be supporting Pete in his new role and ensuring we set out how we would lead the city in rediscovering the dynamic founding principles of Milton Keynes.”