After 15 years in the hot seat Cllr Jeff Green tonight has been ousted as leader of Wirral Council's Conservatives.

He has been replaced by Wallasey councillor Ian Lewis who was voted in at the group's annual meeting.

Wirral Globe:

Councillor Lewis - pictured above - told the Globe: "Wirral's Conservative councillors have tonight voted for change.

"There are thousands of traditional Labour supporters in the borough who feel Jeremy Corbyn's party no longer speaks for them.

"My mission is to earn their vote and to be an effective opposition in the meantime.

"The whole group pays tribute to Jeff for his many years of service as leader."

Speaking shortly afterwards Cllr Green told us: "I am honoured to have led the group for 15 years and to have been the first Conservative leader of Wirral Council for 25 years.

"I believe during my time we achieved some important things, most of all in forcing the council to become more transparent and honest than it had been previously.

"There are some who feel the authority is reverting back to darker days, but I am confident Ian will vigorously uphold the principles we have always tried to sustain - and I wish him well."

His rival, Labour leader of the the council Phil Davies, said: "Last night we heard the Tories on Wirral had sacked their leader.

"Mrs May will be concerned in the run in to a general election that here in Wirral the Nasty Party are back running the Tories.

"Wirral Tories have long been divided between the West Wirral members and the group in Wallasey.

"There were rumours of bad blood between the two camps during the run in to the 2015 general election and it now seems the Wallasey Tories have exacted their revenge."

Councillor Green will be remembered by many Globe readers as being the driving force behind exposing an alleged “illegal” four-week delay in providing care for vulnerable people.

He also commissioned consultant Anna Klowonski to conduct a root and branch investigation into the town hall's corporate governance following revelations by whistleblower Martin Morton.

Her conclusions could scarcely have been more damaging.

Ms Klonowski discovered a "corrosive culture" existed within the authority in which the "abnornal has become commonplace."

More recently Cllr Green was the alleged victim of a suspected smear attempt when an independent inquiry revealed that ex-mayor and former Labour council leader Cllr Steve Foulkes broken the local government code of conduct.

Councillor Lewis is no shrinking violet himself as has led several stinging attacks against the Labour-run authority.

In 2014 he lifted the lid through freedom of information requests to expose the council had spent more than £1m on consultants.

He said at the time: "If the town hall needs £1m worth of professional advice it begs the question what the existing senior directors are supposed to be doing.

"Once again we see the council splashing the cash on itself while preaching austerity to the rest of us.”

That same year he was behind a drive for an investigation following  admissions by senior officials that they were ordered not to negotiate over axing the lease of Fernbank Farm in Moreton.

Councillor Lewis called for an inquiry when Upton Park Pony Association lost its legal battle to prevent the ten-acre plot being repossessed by the authority to be sold-off for redevelopment.

And he has spearheaded Conservative group moves to have the council's "Wirral View" monthly newspaper scrapped.

His most recent foray into the politics of conflict saw him clash with council leader Phil Davies over a controversial appointment for a new  "inward investment" chief.

Interesting times ahead for politics in Wirral, we predict.