Conservative councillors in Brighton and Hove have elected Steve Bell, councillor for Woodingdean, as their new leader.

Bell, who was the deputy leader of the party in Brighton, has taken over after the resignation of Tony Janio last week.

The party suffered a huge defeat at the local elections on Thursday, losing eight seats and being pushed into third place behind Labour and the Green Party.

The new leader told Brighton and Hove News: “I believe, in last week’s election, there has been a clear message sent to us locally and to the government, and I want the residents to know that locally we have heard you loud and clear.

Bell’s election comes just days after Brighton’s Labour leader Daniel Yates announced his plans to resign in the coming weeks.