Banchory and Mid-Deeside Councillor, Karen Clark, has been selected to lead the authority’s Liberal Democrat group.
Aberdeenshire Lib Dem councillors appointed Cllr Clark, Chair of Social Work & Housing, to act as Interim Group Leader following the resignation of Cllr Martin Kitts-Hayes.
Wiilie Rennie MSP, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats said: “I am grateful for the work of Martin Kitts Hayes and I am sorry he felt the need to leave. I am pleased that Karen Clark has stepped in to lead our team - she’ll have my full support.”
The deputy leader of Aberdeenshire Council, Ktts-Hayes, resigned from the authority’s Liberal Democrat group last week amid claims of “back-stabbing” and disloyalty among members.
Lib Dem Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside councillor, Peter Argyle said: “Fair to say that our group does not recognise the claims of back-stabbing...”
Colleague Sheena Lonchnay also quit and both plan to join the eight Independents who form the ruling Shire Alliance coalition along with Tories, Lib Dems and Labour.
Cllr Karen Clark said: “We are disappointed that Martin Kitts-Hayes and Sheena Lonchay have chosen to leave the group.
The precise reasons for this remain unclear and we would have welcomed the opportunity to address their concerns.
“They have both played important roles within the group over many years. “We have always respected the right of any member of our group not to support an agreed position, if that position conflicts with strongly held beliefs, conscience or with what a member sees as the best of interests of his or her ward.”
A new Group Leader will be decided at the Lib Dem Group AGM to be held in May.