Eastbourne’s Conservative group leader Tony Freebody is stepping down to concentrate on his NHS job during the Coronavirus crisis.
The Ratton councillor has spent 25 years in the NHS and works with a learning disability service locally. Fellow councillor Penny di Cara will take over temporary leadership.
“My main focus at the moment must be my day job in the NHS and to protect my vulnerable service users and deliver the best possible care in difficult times,” said Tony.
“As I'm sure many can imagine, right now is the most challenging times I have experienced in my career and I must make it my priority.”
Tony will step back until the end of May and then review the situation.
“Penny is a great deputy leader and is more than capable of leading the group in my absence. I leave the position in safe hands,” he added.
Penny said: “I need to thank Tony for the amazing work he is doing in the NHS and everyone absolutely understands his priority must be to be there right now in this time of national crisis.”
Eastbourne and Willingdon MP Caroline Ansell added: “Tony has been dedicated to his leader role and the NHS for many years but right now the NHS needs all his energy far more than we do.
“I wish him all the best and that he keeps safe in the vital job he is doing during this outbreak. I hope he is able to resume his political duties soon.”