The Liberal Democrats on Cornwall Council have thrown their collective hat into the ring as the debate continues over the leadership at County Hall.

It was announced earlier this week that talks about forming a working majority had broken down between the Conservative group and the independents.

Although the Conservative party secured the most council seats in local elections on May 4, with 46, the group did not claim enough electoral divisions to form a working majority on the council, meaning it will have to share power with one of the other smaller groups.

The two next largest groups are the Liberal Democrats, with 37 seats, and the independents with 30, with the former having previously stepped aside to give the Tories first chance at forming an administration.

However, the indepdendents called off talks after claiming the Conservatives had tried to force them into supporting their own manifesto pledges, while Tories claimed the group had wanted a disproportionate amount of power.

The Liberal Democrat group met at County Hall yesterday evening, before announcing it would make its own bid for power.

Liberal Democrat leader Adam Paynter said: "The Conservatives have spectacularly failed in forming an administration for Cornwall Council. 

"The Liberal Democrat group has given the Conservatives every opportunity to form an administration, however their confusion and chaos has shown that they are not fit, nor able, to run Cornwall.

"As a result the Liberal Democrat Group has decided for the good of the people of Cornwall, that it will open discussions with other groups."

The independent group has also said it will be putting forward its own candidate for the leadership.