KILWINNING Councillor Joe Cullinane has been elected as the new leader of North Ayrshire Council's Labour Group.

A vote held at Cunninghame House in Irvine this afternoon saw the youngest Councillor in North Ayrshire come out on top and means he is in line to become leader of the whole council after the SNP administration resigned en-masse following the Irvine West by-election defeat to Labour.

Cullinane stood for the Scottish Parliament earlier this year, coming second to the SNP's Ruth Maguire, who stood down as a councillor and triggered the by-election.

In a short statement released this afternoon Joe said: ""Thanks are due to Peter McNamara for his long and dedicated service to the people of North Ayrshire."

 "I know the Council is facing many challenges but I am looking forward to working with my Labour colleagues on facing those challenges head on."

There will be a special meeting of North Ayrshire Council on Tuesday, August 30 where a new administration is likely to be formed with a new Provost needed after the resignation of Joan Sturgeon, mother of Scotland's First Minister.