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Labour loses three councils in disappointing night

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Labour has so far lost control of three councils, with the number of councillors falling by 73 in a blow for the party’s hopes of exploiting the government’s handling of Brexit.

Despite gaining Trafford MBC, which was under no overall control, and taking Amber Valley BC from the Conservatives, Labour lost Wirral MBC, Hartlepool BC and Bolsover DC. No party now has overall control at these councils.

Labour lost four seats at Wirral, where there have been complaints of bullying and harassment of councillors by party members who support Momentum.

At Hartlepool Labour lost five seats and 14 at Bolsover, where 70% voted in the referendum to leave the European Union.

Labour also saw its share of the vote drop at several councils where it retained control or had been the largest party but with no overall majority.

At Derby City Council the Conservatives emerged as the largest party after gaining one seat and Labour losing six, while the Liberal Democrats and Ukip gained two each. Labour also lost seven seats at Bolton MBC.

Labour retained control of Sunderland City Council and Barnsley MBC but lost 12 and seven seats respectively.

The party currently has overall control of 40 councils out of 68 being defended.

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