A gay candidate has been elected as the leader of the Conservatives on Reading Council, it was announced this week.

Councillor Tim Harris, a 41 year old software salesman, was elected without contest as group leader.

Openly gay, he is well-known for his prominent LGBT campaigning, which recently included successfully facilitating a £10,000 grant to kick-start a Reading LGBT centre.

The councillor, who takes part in triathlons in his spare time, said he would bring energy to his new role.

He said: “I am delighted to have been elected unopposed and am really pleased with the officer team.

“The energy, knowledge and innovation within the Conservative group is awesome, so I will be working hard to fully embrace this for the people of Reading.”

Commenting on behalf of LGBTory, the Conservative Party’s LGBT group, Chairman Matthew Sephton added: “I am delighted that Tim has taken on this role and I know he will make a great leader.

“As well as being a excellent councillor, he is an active member and supporter of LGBTory and has been at the heart of campaigning on LGBT issues for many years already.

“Right across the country there are now more openly-LGBT Conservatives at every level of the Party, from the Scottish Leader to more MPs than all other Parties combined, hundreds of local councillors and those in positions like Tim’s, than ever before.

“This is a positive thing for all LGBT people and I wish Tim well in his new role.”