A regional daily journalist is believed to have become Great Britain’s youngest council leader aged just 24.
Keane Duncan, who works as a reporter for the Teesside Gazette, has taken charge of Ryedale District Council, in Yorkshire.
Keane, who has sat as a Conservative member of the council since 2015, was appointed after a deal was struck between his party and independent group Ryedale First following this month’s local elections.
He told the Gazette & Herald his professional experience as a journalist and work on Ryedale’s policy committee would “serve as a good background to taking the leader’s role”.
Keane, who also sits on North Yorkshire County Council, added: “I am very keen to have the advice and guidance of all councillors. I am very keen there is a new tone at Ryedale District Council as the past four years have not been easy for the authority.
“It really is time to look forward to the future. I am keen to shake things up and make sure we do business in a much more open, transparent and collaborative manner.
“I don’t see myself as a young councillor. I am not expecting any kind of favours or different treatment. It’s important we get a cross section of different people in politics.
“It’s important councils do not become the preserve of one particular sub-section of people.”
The council, which operates under the committee system, has been run without a leader for the past two years after six senior members of the authority, including the then-leader Linda Cowling, resigned from the Conservative group after threats of suspension from the constituency party association.
The Tories won 12 seats earlier this month on the 30-seat authority, while Ryedale First won six, Liberal five, Independent five and Liberal Democrats two.