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Friday, May 06, 2011

Hull City Council: Labour wins control from Lib Dems

Hull City Council: Labour wins control from Lib Dems

Labour has taken control of Hull City Council from the Liberal Democrats.

Grim-faced Liberal Democrats watch the count reach its climax at Hull council

The Lib Dem leader of Hull City Council, Carl Minns, has also lost his seat to Labour.

Labour won 34 seats, up 11 on the previous election, while the Lib Dems took 22 seats, 10 fewer than last time. The Conservatives still hold two seats.

Mr Minns had earlier held a news conference at which he said he would be "gobsmacked" if Labour did not make significant gains in Hull.

'Something seismic'

Labour's Hull West and Hessle MP Alan Johnson said it was "extraordinary" that Mr Minns had conceded defeat before the votes had been counted.

"There is a feeling around here that something seismic is happening in Hull," he said.

Asked why voters had rejected the Lib Dems, Mr Minns said: "It's multiple reasons, it's not one reason; national circumstances, local decisions and a couple of areas of probably bad long-term campaigning on the ground.

"[The incoming Labour group] has made a lot of rash promises and now it's got to try and deliver them with less money.

"At the end of the day I'd like more money not to cut services, but the bottom line is the bottom line and when you're a council leader, you have to deal with things as they are not how you'd like them to be."

Labour gains

Meanwhile, North East Lincolnshire Council remains under no overall control, although Labour has overtaken the Conservatives as the party with the most seats.

It gained seven seats to 19, while the Tories lost one seat and now have 14 councillors. the Lib Dems also took a hit, dropping from 14 to nine seats.

The national alternative vote referendum has also taken place, the first nationwide referendum since 1975.

Counting will either take place Thursday night or on Friday, with the count for the referendum on the alternative vote system beginning on Friday afternoon.

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