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Last Updated: Friday, 5 May 2006, 00:39 GMT 01:39 UK
Stoke leader leaves Labour party
Mick Salih
Mick Salih has blasted party leaders and is to leave Labour
A council leader who lost his seat on Thursday night has said he is leaving the Labour party.

The former leader of Stoke-on-Trent council, Mick Salih, said the party had become "a Tory party in disguise" and he would not renew his membership.

Labour has lost overall control of the council, where it lost two seats and the BNP saw their power rise from two to five councillors.

Labour lost five seats, and overall control, in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

'Had enough'

Cannock Chase remains with no single party in power. Labour lost one seat and now has 16 councillors, the Tories have 10, and Lib Dems gained a seat to take them to 15.

The first election result in Staffordshire saw Tories increase their control of Tamworth Borough Council.

The party gained another five members to hold 21 of the 30 seats. Labour lost five seats, leaving it with eight. There is one independent member.

In Stoke-on-Trent, Mr Salih, who has been a councillor for 13 years, lost to an independent candidate.

COUNCIL ELECTION PAGES

He told BBC Radio Stoke he had tried to listen to people and had done his best, but he had had "enough of the Labour party".

"I shall not be renewing my membership and that is a fact. It is not the Labour party I joined years ago."

Across Stoke, the Tories, Independent and Socialists all lost one seat each overall. Labour remain the largest party but are no longer in control.

BNP leader Nick Griffin struggled to get into the Stoke count, but was later allowed in as the guest of a candidate.

Elections were held for a third of the seats on Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Tamworth and Cannock Chase councils.

There were no elections for the county council or the remaining district and borough councils this year.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See reaction from Cannock Chase


See reaction from Newcastle


See reaction from Stoke-on-Trent


See reaction from Tamworth



SEE ALSO:
Tory gains across city and county
05 May 06 |  Coventry/Warwickshire
Labour lose control of Redditch
05 May 06 |  Hereford/Worcs
Tories in control of county town
04 May 06 |  Shropshire
Court challenge after 'BNP win'
05 May 06 |  West Midlands
BNP take seats in West Midlands
05 May 06 |  West Midlands


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