Labour has lost control of all councils in the Tees Valley CA area, most of which was for decades a Labour heartland until Conservative elected mayor Ben Houchen won the mayoralty in 2017.
Redcar & Cleveland BC was already in no overall control, but this has now extended to Middlesbrough BC - where Independent Andy Preston also defeated Labour for the elected mayoralty – and to Hartlepool BC, Stockton-on-Tees BC and Darlington BC. These all saw Labour lose its grip after large losses mostly to Independents.
The Northern Echo has called the results “a catastrophe” for Labour and said they marked its first loss of control at Middlesbrough since 1974, at Stockton-on-Tees since 1979 and Darlington since 1991, though it has more recently been out of power at Hartlepool.
In the Middlesbrough mayoral election Labour lost to Mr Preston – a local business and charity figure who it narrowly defeated four years ago – by 17,418 votes to 6,692.
Mr Houchen called the region’s results “stunning”.