The 43-strong group held an extraordinary meeting on Monday to elect a successor to Sir Ray Puddifoot, who announced last month he was standing down.
As Hillingdon is under Conservative administration, it means Cllr Edwards will become the new council leader at a meeting of the full council in January.
He said: “I am deeply honoured to be given this great opportunity to continue our policy of ‘putting residents first’, a message that resonates with so many across our borough. I will now begin to assemble a team that will continue delivering on resident priorities and all the services they value, I would also like to place on record my thanks and appreciation to Sir Ray, who has done a brilliant job over the past 20 years in leading our group and Hillingdon Council.”
Ian Edwards has been a councillor in Hillingdon since 2014 and currently represents Eastcote and East Ruislip ward.
He has held a number of positions, including chairman of the Central & South Planning Committee and chairman of the Social Care, Housing & Public Health Policy Overview Committee.