In one other embarrassing election outcome for Labour, it has misplaced its majority control of Durham County Council after almost a century.
The outcome introduced late on Saturday night time noticed it fell brief of the 64 seats it wanted for outright control, profitable 53. The Labour group’s complete going into the native elections had been 69, which represents a 16 seat drop.
The largest winners on the night time had been the Conservative group which noticed its quantity of seats leap from 10 to 24 and the Independents with 21, up 9. The Liberal Democrat group gained two profitable 17 seats.
After the outcome the Labour chief of the council, Simon Henig, informed reporters that Labour councillors “will work with anybody” to assist realise the imaginative and prescient the celebration has for the county.
Having misplaced the general majority, the Labour group has simply over two weeks till the annual assembly on May 26 to work out a method ahead.
Durham Council was the primary county corridor to go pink in 1919 and had been in steady control by Labour since 1925.
The area was on the centre of the Miners’ Strike of the Eighties and its Miners’ Gala continues to be a fixture within the UK’s socialist calendar.
It comes two days after the nationwide celebration misplaced the Hartlepool by-election for the primary time in its 47 yr historical past when Tory candidate Jill Mortimer romped dwelling.
Labour chief Sir Keir Starmer mentioned he took full accountability for the outcome earlier than inflicting a storm of controversy by sacking celebration chair Angela Rayner who some imagine is getting used as a scapegoat.
Mr Henig mentioned: “There has been a shift to the Conservatives throughout many elements of the nation, not least the North East, as seen at Hartlepool which is subsequent door to us.
“I’d prefer to thank all of my councillors who’ve misplaced their seats on this election. They have been devoted public servants over many years and will probably be an enormous loss not simply to the Labour group however Durham County Council.
“We knew this election was going to be difficult coming because it did after lockdown. We’ve not been capable of marketing campaign as a lot as we usually would have executed.”
Mr Henig mentioned because of this of this it had felt like there had been a state of “suspended animation” for the reason that December 2019 basic election when three Conservative MPs had been elected to County Durham seats, their victories introduced within the very corridor the county council vote was held.
He added: “So it isn’t a shock we see some of the sample in May 2021 seen in December 2019.
“There is little doubt there’s a sample of Conservative good points that goes nicely past County Durham. That’s one thing the Labour celebration will reply to at a nationwide degree in addition to an area one.”