A WIRRAL Conservative councillor has stepped down as the group's leader after three years.

Cllr Ian Lewis, who represents Wallasey, resigned as leader of Wirral Conservatives over a "breakdown in relations" with the Wirral West Conservative Association.

A councillor nominated to replace Cllr Lewis has recently sparked outrage with comments he has made about those who want to rename streets which take their names from people historically linked to the slave trade.

Cllr David Burgess-Joyce, who found himself embroiled in a viscous race row last year, and more recently accused people who want slave trader street names changed of launching a "Marxist national coup", has been nominated to take over the role.

In July Cllr Burgess-Joyce, who represents Greasby, Frankby and Irby, said: "To destroy history is a very slippery slope.

"If we as Conservatives support this move by the Marxists, who are using racial grievances to attempt a national coup, we do not deserve to be re-elected."

He also personally attacked Labour councillor Janette Williamson, calling her "the Marxist Williamson" and accused her of making a unilateral decision to change the name of Tobin Street in Wallasey.

At the time, he was suspended from the council’s Conservative group after comments about black Labour MP David Lammy and the Ku Klux Klan.

In 2019, Cllr Burgess-Joyce said David Lammy had done “more damage to community cohesion than any KKK member”.

Cllr Burgess-Joyce says, if successful, he has plans that could greatly benefit Wirral.

He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: "It was a surprise to me that Cllr Lewis decided to stand down, he’s done good work for us as a group."

Plans for his first 100 days as Leader, should be he successful, include supporting the prioritisation of post-Covid planning, meeting with Wirral business owners regularly to support their growth, help ensure Wirral is an attractive place to do business, and to visit for tourism, and identify regeneration areas.

A group vote to elect the new leader of the group will take place before Christmas.

Wirral West Conservative Association has been approached for comment.

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