Cllr David Simpson has today been elected as the new leader of Pembrokeshire County Council.

An emotional Cllr Simpson was close to tears as he thanked his wife for her support and all those who had backed his bid to become leader.

The Lampeter Velfrey unaffiliated councillor joked that he had been told he was one of, if not the, only leaders in Britain not to have a party behind him.

“The chief executive says I am an anomaly as I am the only council leader in Wales, possibly in Great Britain without a party behind him,” he said.

“I did my research and I did find someone else who has done it; Oliver Cromwell, he ended up hung drawn and quartered.”

Cllr Simpson was nominated by Cllr Mike Evans, who said:

“I believe that David has the right qualities to lead this council not only he is very open, he is a very honest man he is a good listener and also approachable.

“David joined the council in 2004. Those that experienced his work in the housing department will understand his ethos and come to realise that the choice we make here today will be good for Pembrokeshire.”

His sentiments were echoed by seconder, Cllr Guy Woodham who said he hoped Cllr Simpson's election as leader would be "the dawning of a new age for this authority."

Cllr Simpson has named eight cabinet members and has said he will not have a deputy leader as he will expect his cabinet to deputise for him. This means that he has already saved the council a total of 35,900: 15,700 on a cabinet special responsibility allowance (SRA) and a further 20,200 in a deputy leader’s SRA.

Of the previous cabinet assembled by former leader Cllr Jamie Adams, only Cllr David Lloyd survives.

Cllr Simpson's first cabinet will be:

David Lloyd (learning); Tessa Hodgson (well-being); Paul Miller (economy and community development); Bob Kilmister (budget); Pat Davies (regulatory services & housing); newcomer Cris Tomos (environment & Welsh language); Phil Baker (infrastructure) and newcomer Neil Prior (transformation and IT).

Cllr Simpson thanked his fellow councillors, starting with former leader John Davies.

“In 2004 when I was a new member he put me straight onto cabinet. He gave me a role in his first cabinet. He gave me the role I always loved, housing. I was there for eight years until I left the independent group two and a half years ago. This is my last term as a councillor and I find myself as leader,” he said.

“My school motto was that ‘manners maketh man’,” I have believe that all my life. I have said before in this chamber as well that Duke of Edinburgh taught me everything, honesty and integrity. “Thank you for the trust you have put in me. I can’t thank everybody enough. Thank you very much.”