The Royal Borough's lead councillor Simon Dudley has resigned after 12 years as a powerful and occasionally controversial political figure.

In a letter dated today sent to the borough's managing director Duncan Sharkey and returning officer David Scott Cllr Dudley says he is resigning with immediate effect. He says: "My  priority now will be to focus on national issues including housing and infrastructure, giving the people of our country the opportunity to own a home.

"It has been an enormous honour to lead the Royal Borough since 2016 and to be a councillor since 2007."

His resignation will fuel speculation that he plans to stand as a parliamentary candidate although he offers no explanation for his resignation in the letter, saying only: "The time has come to move on from the council."

He has been a controversial figure, particularly since becoming leader in 2016. His letter to police complaining about 'aggressive begging and intimidation' in Windsor caused a massive backlash and he was the subject of a campaign to oust him from some members of his own party, later surviving a 'no confidence' vote at a full council meeting.