The new leader of Kingston Council is Conservative councillor Kevin Davis.

Coun Davis said he was chosen at a meeting of the party last night.

He took over from Howard Jones, who led the Tories to victory over the Liberal Democrats on Friday, but stood down due to illness.

Coun Davis said today his group would undertake a full review of the borough's back-room structures, including council committees and the balance of power between officers and elected councillors, before the end of July.

He said: “For the last 12 years the councillors and executive members haven't pulled the levers of power enough.

"We believe that councillors need more control over what goes on in the borough."

Coun Davis has returned to the council after losing his seat in 2006..

Since then he has run unsuccessfully for parliament both in Kingston, against sitting Lib Dem MP Edward Davey, and Yeovil, against Lib Dem MP David Laws.

The former Beverley Boys school pupil also contributed to London mayor Boris Johnson’s 2012 campaign.

In recent years Coun Davis has owned PR firm Cratus Communications, from their Park Road office, alongside PR people from all walks of political life.

Fellow Tory Nick Kilby, who lost his seat in 2010, and Lib Dem supporter Mary Graham still work there.

They have also employed former Labour council candidate Katie Hill and Labour activist Alex Griffiths.

Cratus has worked on numerous planning projects including the redevelopment of Eden House next door to Primark, student housing in Ewell, and Cherkley Court, the former home of press magnate Lord Beaverbrook, near Leatherhead.

Coun Davis has also been chairman of the All Saints Church Appeal Trust, and, along with Christian People's Alliance member David Campanale, ran the unsuccessful bid to establish a Christian secondary free school in the borough.