A FORMER Labour politician who quit the party in dispute has been promoted to Worcester City Council's Conservative leadership, it has emerged.

Councillor Alan Amos has been made the new cabinet member for economic prosperity and tourism, giving him one of the highest-profile roles at the Guildhall.

The decision is one of the first major moves by the city's new leader Councillor Marc Bayliss, who took over the top job last week.

Councillor Amos, a former Tory MP in Hexham, Northumberland between 1987 and 1992, joined the council in 2008 for the Labour Party, representing Warndon in a seat he still holds today.

After an internal row with Labour about failing to become its mayoral candidate he dumped the party to go independent, using his vote to then effectively kick Labour out of power for a Tory leadership.

The Conservatives then made him the Mayor of Worcester, with Councillor Amos re-joining the Tories last year to complete his controversial about-turn.

Councillor Amos, who is up for re-election in May, has been chairing the city's planning committee since last spring, giving him a big role in Worcester's development.

His new position, which carries an allowance of £6,300, will see him take on responsibility for boosting Worcester's economy and its tourism profile.

He said: "It is a great honour to be joining the cabinet, and to be working to boost this great city’s economy and increase its success as a tourist destination.

"I am looking forward to working alongside Marc and my cabinet colleagues to achieve the ambitious aims of our corporate plan."

He will carry on chairing the planning committee for the time being, with a decision on that not expected to be made until after the elections.

Last week Councillor Bayliss told your Worcester News he saw the city's heritage as one of his key themes as leader, saying he wanted it to secure the "international recognition" it deserves.

Today, he said: "Increasing prosperity in Worcester is one of the principle aims of our corporate plan and Alan's commitment to supporting our city's economy is second to none.

"I am confident he will work with great energy to bring more successful businesses and great jobs to Worcester."

The rest of the leadership team has stayed the same meaning Tories Mike Johnson, Lucy Hodgson, deputy leader Chris Mitchell and Andy Roberts remain inside the cabinet.

Councillor Johnson, the cabinet member for sport, leisure and retail, will also take on responsibility for the riverside.