David Simpson has made the first move to become the new leader of Pembrokeshire County Council - and he has won the backing of the Labour group.

The unafilliated Lampeter Velfrey councillor is a former Cabinet member who left the ruling IPPG after losing confidence in the way cabinet was being run by Cllr Jamie Adams, the leader at the time.

Cllr Simpson told the Western Telegraph that the recent election results sent a clear message that the old way of doing things in county hall was not acceptable.

"It is not my intention to buy support for my leadership challenge by promising Cabinet seats and other paid positions in exchange for votes" he said.

"That flawed system has just been rejected by the Pembrokeshire electorate and I am asking members to support me only if they think I am the best person for the job."

Cllr Simpson said that his wide business experience, and his previous stint as Cabinet member for housing, equipped him to drive forward improvements in the way council delivered services.

And he promised a more open administration involving all 60 members, with party differences set aside in the interests of providing better services and value for money.

"Under my leadership, Cabinet members will be appointed on merit - ability, not loyalty, will be the only consideration." he said.

This afternoon (Tuesday) the Labour group threw their support behind Cllr Simpson.

Labour group leader Cllr Paul Miller, said: 

"Following a meeting this afternoon I can confirm that the Labour Group on Pembrokeshire Council will be supporting Cllr David Simpson in his bid to lead the authority.

"The last 5 years have been extremely difficult for Pembrokeshire Council, with the authority lurching from one scandal to the next. 

In last week's election the voting public of Pembrokeshire placed the blame fairly and squarely with the ruling Independent Political Plus Group and in my view made clear that they wanted to see real change.

"Cllr Jamie Adams' time as leader of the authority simply must come to an end and both the Labour Group and I are committed to bringing about the change of leadership the voting public want to see.

"Pembrokeshire Council does not need to be run on patronage and favours, the only way Cllr Adams and the ruling Independent Group know how.

"There is a better way and we believe Cllr Simpson represents our best opportunity for an open and accountable Council."

There is still the possibility of other members being put forward as potential leader as a number of deals are understood to be being discussed this week.