The Conservative group of Hampshire County Council has selected its new leader, who will be the candidate for the administration’s leadership.

Cllr Nick Adams-King is replacing Cllr Rob Humby, who announced he would be standing down on May 15. 

On his Facebook page, Cllr Adams-King, who currently holds the executive role for universal services, said that, if elected, he would continue to “strive to be an efficient, caring, innovative, business-friendly council”.

Cllr Adams-King said: “Last Thursday [May 16], my colleagues in the Conservative group at Hampshire County Council elected me as their new group leader, which means that on Thursday, I will be our group’s candidate to be the new leader of Hampshire County Council. 

“Under my leadership, Hampshire County Council will continue to strive to be an efficient, caring, innovative, business-friendly council, one that cares for our environment, tackles the challenge of climate change and actively promotes the positive and necessary work we do to protect our most vulnerable Hampshire residents.”

He also said that Cllr Jan Warwick, currently executive member for younger adults and health and wellbeing, would be the next deputy leader.

“I am blessed with an amazing team of colleagues who have a wealth of experience, knowledge and enthusiasm, and it is an incredible honour to be chosen by them as their leader.  Amongst these individuals, there is no one more talented than Cllr Jan Warwick, whom I am delighted was chosen by my colleagues as our group deputy leader and, from Thursday, deputy leader of the council.

“My style is collegiate and cooperative, I look forward to working in that vein with my party colleagues and opposition members alike.  No one enters politics to do harm, we just disagree about how to do good.

Andover Advertiser: Nick Adams-King and Rob Humby

He also said Cllr Humby “changed HCC for the better.”

“Finally, I’d like to pay tribute to former leader, Cllr Rob Humby and deputy leader, Cllr Roz Chadd, for steering the council through two intensely difficult years.  Rob stands down, knowing he has changed Hampshire County Council for the better.  We owe him a huge vote of thanks, not just for his sacrifice and hard work of the last two years but for his many years of service to the people of Hampshire.”

READ MORE: Hampshire County Council leader Rob Humby to stand down

Since 2013, Cllr Humby has represented the Bishop’s Waltham electoral division at Hampshire County Council and has previously held the position of cabinet member for economy, transport and environment.

He was deputy leader of Hampshire County Council between 2019 and 2022 before being elected as leader in May 2022 after the resignation of Councillor Keith Mans.

In his statement, Cllr Humby said that despite being “immensely proud” to serve the people of Hampshire, he had decided to step down and then retire from politics before the 2025 county council elections.

Cllr Humby said: “It is with deep regret that I announce my plans to step down after two years as county council leader and retire from local politics before the 2025 county council elections. Fortunately, however, this will now enable me to spend more time with my family, children, and grandchildren.”

After the announcement, the Conservative group elected its new leader, Cllr Nick Adams-King, who will be the candidate for leadership in the next county council annual general meeting on May 23.

The resignation came as “quite a surprise”, Hampshire Labour group leader Cllr Kim Taylor said.

She added that the group is looking forward to a “constructive dialogue” with the new council leader.

Cllr Taylor said: “The announcement of Cllr Rob Humby’s resignation as leader of the council did come as quite a surprise.

“As leader of the Hampshire Labour group, I look forward to having a constructive dialogue with the new leader of the council once they are elected.

“I am keen to safeguard the interests of residents and our most vulnerable members of society in the light of the cuts to services being brought forward by the Conservative administration.

“The Hampshire Labour group will be working hard to ensure residents’ voices are heard and not overlooked in these difficult financial times.”