A BID which looked set to oust Winchester City Council failed in dramatic fashion after a single vote kept her in office.

Conservative councillor Caroline Horrill faced a motion to remove her from leadership at Wednesday's council meeting following the resignation of rebel within the group.

As previously reported, Cllr Kim Gottlieb quit the party over the weekend over we he called the Tory leadership's "arrogance" and a lack of transparency, wiping out their majority.

Now Cllr Horrill has vowed to continue their work "delivering" for residents, saying: "It’s business as usual and we have much to do."

The vote was tabled at Wednesday's meeting by Liberal Democrat Martin Tod, who said: "This motion was triggered by the recent decision of Cllr Gottlieb, which has fundamentally changed the make-up of the council.

"The overwhelming sense is that the council needs to change. It really should not be this way.

"If the administration is not ready to change, then we need to change the administration."

In his speech, Cllr Tod also referenced Cllr Gottlieb's resignation letter, which said: "Promises of transparency and inclusiveness made at the start of your (Cllr Horrill's) tenure eighteen months ago, are unfulfilled.

"At times, it seems that the decision-making process could not be more opaque and exclusive."

However, despite appearing to have the numbers, the motion was defeated after Liberal Democrats Cllr Jamie Scott defied his party.

Just before voting starting, Cllr Scott got up from his seat on the opposition side and join the Tories in voting against the motion.

He left the meeting immediately afterwards.

During the meeting Cllr Horrill's Conservative colleagues rallied behind her, praising her record as leader and slamming the opposition members.

Cllr Eileen Berry said: "It saddens me to hear what I've just heard. It is a stab in the back.

"There is no decency in this motion."

Cllr Linda Gemmell added: "I'm disgusted by the level of party politicking. She offered to listen to you.

"You are just hyenas nipping at her heels."

Meanwhile, Cllr Stephen Godfrey, whom Cllr Horrill replaced as leader, said: "We have made huge strides forward in looking after everyone in this district."

Following the meeting, Cllr Horrill said: "An attempt to overturn May’s election result has failed and now this Conservative administration continues the important job of delivering... the very best services for our residents and businesses.

"I will continue to lead this council to the best of my ability and be transparent about how it conducts its business. I will continue to act with dignity and inclusiveness towards everyone."