CONSERVATIVE councillor Bob Sleigh has quit as leader of Solihull Council, the Observer has learned.
The surprise announcement has been sent to members of the council in a private email.
Coun Sleigh, who has been leader since 2014, said: “I have decided to step down as leader of Solihull Council as of May 2. This decision is purely a personal one.
“I’ve chosen to tell my political colleagues about this decision now, so that my group members have time to consider who they may wish to lead them.
“I have also informed the West Midlands mayor, Andy Street, of my decision as he appoints the deputy mayor and this role requires the post holder to be a council leader.
“I hope to continue to serve as a councillor in Solihull following the forthcoming election.”