The leader of Allerdale council has resigned with immediate effect.

Marion Fitzgerald, who has led the authority since the last local elections, has stood down and deputy leader Mike Johnson will assume her responsibilities until a new leader is elected by the full council.

Allerdale released the following statement and said it could not make any further comment: "Marion Fitzgerald has resigned as leader of the council with immediate effect.

"Mike Johnson, as deputy leader, will assume the responsibilities of the leader until a new leader is elected by full council.

"Councillor Johnson and acting chief executive Andrew Seekings would like to thank Coun Fitzgerald for the leadership, dedication, time and effort she has put into the role."

Yesterday, her executive announced that plans to introduce a fortnightly bin collection and charge for garden waste collections in Allerdale could be binned.

Coun Fitzgerald's executive proposed the authority's budget for the coming year which, if ratified by the full council, would see the waste collection remain as it was.

She said yesterday: “Council tax has been increased by the maximum for several years and our proposals mark a departure from this.

“It has been a difficult year with the problems inherited from the waste service but despite that we have managed to find savings and deliver this budget.”

Coun Johnson was appointed as deputy leader just before Christmas, replacing Mark Jenkinson, who became Workington MP.