Page last updated at 12:39 GMT, Friday, 2 May 2008 13:39 UK

Labour suffers Wolverhampton loss

Khalid Mahmood
Birmingham Labour MP Khalid Mahmood said he was disappointed

Labour has lost Wolverhampton City Council to no overall control.

Council leader Roger Lawrence said Labour had suffered a "bad day" as it lost eight seats in the city, which it had held since 1994.

The Tories have also taken Solihull from no overall control and earlier won six seats from Labour in Birmingham, where the city council is still hung.

The Conservatives also held onto Walsall and Dudley while Labour maintained its power in Sandwell.

Political 'uncertainty'

Mr Lawrence said: "It's not been a good day for Labour here or indeed nationally."

He said losing control of the city would produce "all kinds of uncertainty", adding: "One of the great strengths of Wolverhampton has been its political stability."

In Birmingham, where the council has been under no overall control since 2003, an independent seat was also lost to the Respect Party.

The latest results mean the authority, which is the largest in Europe, is now made up of 49 Tory, 36 Labour, 32 Liberal Democrats and three Respect councillors.

Birmingham Labour MP Khalid Mahmood said he was disappointed with the results.

'Spectacular results'

"There are some issues nationally and the press have highlighted those issues," he said.

"The government needs to resolve some of them."

Andrew Mitchell, the Conservative MP for Sutton Coldfield, said the results in Birmingham were "spectacular".

He said: "There are a number of reasons why they have come in as they have.

"Partly, of course, this is a well-run Conservative council which keeps the council tax down and focuses on improving services.

"But it is also to do with the national picture. Labour is very unpopular at the moment, we found that on the doorsteps."

In both Walsall and Dudley it was the fourth year in a row the Conservatives held onto control. At Dudley Council, the group gained four seats.

At Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, Labour stayed in power despite three Tory gains from the group.

  Councillors Councils
Party +/- Total +/- Total
CON 257 3155 12 65
LAB -334 2365 -9 18
LD 33 1804 1 12
PC 31 205 -1 0
OTH 10 898 0 0
NOC - - -3 64
159 of 159 councils declared.


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