LibDems forced into leadership change

European Election Count at EIS Sheffield 2014'Shaffaq Mohammed congratulates his Labour opponent Anne Murphy
European Election Count at EIS Sheffield 2014'Shaffaq Mohammed congratulates his Labour opponent Anne Murphy

Liberal Democrats in Sheffield will choose their next leader on Monday. The opposition group has been forced to make a change after Shaffaq Mohammed lost in Crookes.

One of the frontrunners is deputy leader Colin Ross, who narrow lost the leadership vote last time around. He tied with Shaffaq Mohammed on the first round of voting and lost on the second.

Competition could come from Andrew Sangar, another longstanding Lib Dem councillor, who chairs the local party and is the city’s shadow’s finance spokesperson, and Penny Baker, the party’s chief whip, who is the spokesperson for housing. Ian Auckland is another potential candidate.

Mr Mohammed led the local Lib Dems for three years, succeeding Paul Scriven, who lost his seat in Broomhill.

He believed the combination of the local and European elections on the same day had resulted in a surge to Labour in Crookes.

“I am disappointed,” he said. “We fought a very good campaign. We are still the biggest opposition and will always have the strongest voice.

“As a party we have seen some gains in other parts of the city. Stannington is now a 600-vote majority, in Beauchief and Greenhill we have taken off Labour, and we have increased our majority in the Hallam wards.”