A SOUTHAMPTON Conservative leader has revealed why he decided to step down.

Councillor Marley Guthrie led the Tory opposition at Southampton City Council since the local election in May 2022.

He has now been replaced with Councillor Daniel Fitzhenry, who was the Tory leader up to the election, when the party was in power – and who has now stepped up again to take the helm.

Cllr Guthrie said: “Recent circumstances have meant I have had to reassess my priorities.

“I feel deeply connected to my group and the issues we have been campaigning on, which is what made my decision so difficult.

“However, when it became apparent I could no longer dedicate the time I felt was necessary to do the role properly, I made the choice to step back as leader.”

He will remain a councillor for the Sholing ward and is looking to the future.

He said: “I would like to thank my shadow cabinet, my group’s councillors and all our activists for the support they have lent me over the past six months.

“I look forward to supporting the new group leader and my colleagues going into the local elections next year, as well as continuing to help my residents with the issues that matter to them.”