Labour retains Reading Borough Council majority

Mr Corbyn is hoping to seize long-term Tory strongholds in London

Mr Corbyn is hoping to seize long-term Tory strongholds in London

LABOUR held onto the old Warwickshire County Council seat of MP Matt Western in Thursday's by-election - by just 25 votes.

Labour gained two of the 13 seats up for election, Drayton and Abbey North, which were previously held by UKIP.

Labour's Ellie Emberson, 19, made history when she won Minster ward, becoming the youngest woman ever elected to the council.

Labour failed to snatch Barnet, a vulnerable Tory council, and a red landslide outside London also failed to materialise.

These elections were the first Council elections since Susan Hinchcliffe became leader.

"Next year we have every chance of bouncing back, there'll be 14 Tory seats and just one of ours".

Labour now has 17 seats with the Conservatives on 16 and the Green Party one.

The Conservative Party has won control of Barnet in an underwhelming night for Labour in London at the local elections.

And in Wakefield, the Conservatives made gains by winning seats in Horbury and South Ossett ward, Ossett, Wakefield Rural and Wrenthorpe and Outwood West.

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With the highest proportion of Jewish residents in England, at 15.5 percent, the result was being seen as an indication of the extent to which a row between Labour and the Jewish community over the handling of anti-Semitism in the party has affected the public mood.

Reflecting on the result, Wakefield's Labour council leader Peter Box said: "It's been a mixed night".

He said: "It's always hard to win contests when you're the party in government, so taking St Chad's and Barnes was very encouraging for us".

There is now the question as to who will lead Trafford Council.

Nevertheless the Tories have a 24-seat majority so an enormous swing can be required for the authority to alter arms.

Meanwhile, Dudley remained in no overall control but the council's Tory leader was confident a UKIP councillor and independent Conservative would join their group to hand them effective control.

The result, however, has no bearing on the balance of power at Shire Hall with the Conservatives holding 36 of the council's 57 seats. "These aren't the results of a party that's about to storm the next general election".

The Tories also no longer have control of Trafford in Greater Manchester.

Labour sources insisted the results so far showed it had consolidated its vote since the general election and said the Ukip vote was following the results of the national poll, with around two thirds going Tory and one third Labour.

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