Newly installed leader of the Isle of Wight Council, Lora Peacey Wilcox, has told the County Press that she is 'surprised' to find herself in the role.

Councillor Peacey-Wilcox won by 20 votes to 18, defeating leader of the Conservative councillors, Cllr Steve Hastings.

Supporters praised Cllr Peacey-Wilcox's ability to bring 'unity' and she won cross-party support, with the exception of Conservative members.

She will lead a group of councillors who comprise independents, as well as those who stood for Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party, the Vectis Party and Our Island.

Cllr Ian Stephens will take on the role of deputy leader.

Taking her seat on the podium, alongside new chair Cllr Geoff Brodie and vice chair Cllr Claire Critchison, she called for a short silence to remember those who have died during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The council has not met face-to-face in over a year, since the pandemic began.

She also took the opportunity to name car parking charges and planning problems as priority issues that would be dealt with.

Speaking at Wednesday night's meeting at Medina Leisure Centre, Cllr Peacey-Wilcox told the County Press: "Everyone's put faith in me.

"61 per cent of Islanders expected us to put in some form of leadership.

"We've done that and we've got the vote. Superb!"

Leading cabinet members were also unveiled.

Taking on the finance role is Cllr Chris Jarman, who will head up resources.

Cowes West and Gurnard independent Cllr Paul Fuller, who won a resounding victory on May 6, takes on planning.

Returning face, Cllr Phil Jordan, will lead infrastructure and transport, while Newport businesswoman Cllr Julie Jones Evans takes on regeneration.

Sandown's Cllr Debbie Andre heads up education and children's services, while East Cowes councillor Karl Love leads adult social care, public health and housing portfolio.

Former council leader Jonathan Bacon will lead on environment, heritage and waste management.

Cllr Peacey-Wilcox said: "I chose them for specific reasons. I shall keep on them!

"Good luck Team Alliance!"

One councillor, Richard Quigley, was unable to attend.