SOUTHAMPTON council's controlling Labour group has chosen their new leader.

At a meeting last night members chose Councillor Chris Hammond to take over to lead the group.

They also re-elected Cllr Jacqui Rayment as deputy leader tonight.

It means that Cllr Hammond is due to be formally elected as the overall leader of the council at a meeting on Wednesday.

The vote comes after former city leader Simon Letts lost his seat in the local government elections last Thursday.

Chris has been a councillor since 2013, when he won in a by-election, re-elected in 2016 and was re-elected again last week for the ward of Woolston in the Southampton Itchen constituency.

He has served in the cabinet since 2015, most recently as cabinet member for sustainable living, where he has delivered significant progress on a number of fronts, most notably the clean air strategy.

A statement from the Labout Group said that Chris brings a range of private and public sector work experience, most recently as a project manager for Nationwide Building Society.

Chris said: "I am absolutely delighted and humbled to be elected as the group’s new leader.

"Simon Letts will be a hard act to follow.

"I am determined to build on the great achievements we have made to date as a labour administration to further transform the council and make a positive difference for the people of Southampton."