Tories lose control of Broxtowe in local elections

The count at Broxtowe Borough Council
The count at Broxtowe Borough Council

The Conservatives have lost overall control of Broxtowe Borough Council as Labour and the Liberal Democrats enjoyed gains in the borough elections.

There are still two seats to be contested in June - following the recent death of councillor Chris Rice in Stapleford South East - but the Broxtowe Tories will remain one shy of a majority even if they were to win both.

The council is now currently made up of 20 Conservative councillors (down from 27), 14 Labour (up from 11), five Liberal Democrats (up from four), one Ashfield Independent and two Independent councillors.

The new look means a coalition will need to be formed for any group to take control - and the Liberal Democrats have already set out their intentions.

Speaking after his party gained Bramcote from the Conservatives, Lib Dem leader Steve Carr said: "We are not going to make any decisions and we don't have to until after the election (set for June 13), but at the end of the day it is highly unlikely we will go into any agreement with the Conservatives."

The two big shocks of the night came in Chilwell West, where Labour took two seats from the Conservatives, and Bramcote, where the Liberal Democrats gained all three seats from the Tories.

Richard Jackson, leader of the Conservatives, retained his seat in Attenborough and Chilwell East, and while admitting he was disappointed in the result, he said that against a backdrop of general anger surrounding Brexit, it was still a vote of confidence in the authority's work over the last four years.

He added: "We have a postponed election next month for two seats which will be crucial for the future."

Broxtowe has become a big target for Labour in recent years, with former Tory MP Anna Soubry holding a parliamentary majority of just 868 - the 16th smallest in the country.

Greg Marshalll, Labour's parliamentary candidate and councillor for Beeston West, said after the results had been finalised: "It is good that we have moved the direction of the council away from a Tory majority.

"I am slightly disappointed we didn't get enough seats in line with the fantastic campaign we fought, but clearly we made in roads in lots of seats around the borough."

He added that they will now be carrying on the party's campaign in Stapleford South East in the hope of gaining the two final seats.