COUNCILLOR Lynne Hillan has held on to her position as leader of Barnet Council.

The Brunswick Park ward councillor received the majority of votes from Conservative colleagues to secure the leadership after a strong challenge from Councillor Mark Shooter.

The result was announced this evening during the group's AGM, held at Hendon Town Hall, in The Burroughs.

Cllr Hillan has been widely criticised for her plans to award cabinet members huge increases in their allowances, a move which sparked the leadership battle. She has since announced the decision will be reversed and allowances will remain at the original level.

Tory party members met in the main council chamber to decide on the leadership after the challenge was brought by Hendon ward councillor, Mr Shooter.

He had sent letters to colleagues on August 12 asking for their support in running for the leadership and promised “a fresh start” for the party.

He claimed the administration “could no longer be trusted to make important judgements” and claimed they were “totally out of touch with public opinion”.

The victory means Cllr Hillan will continue in the position she has held since December, however there remains a deep feeling of unrest within the party.

She still faces a vote of no confidence at next weeks meeting of full council after a motion was put forward by the leader of the Barnet Liberal Democrat group, Councillor Jack Cohen.

Councillor Wendy Prentice held on to her position as chairman of the party, beating Councillor Brian Sharma by just one vote, winning by 19 votes to 18.