6:36am Friday 23rd May 2014
By Matt Abbott
LABOUR lost overall control of Thurrock Council as UKIP tore into the vote share of Thurrock’s two main parties.
UKIP gained FIVE seats - two from Labour and three from the Conservatives - as it took a whopping 39 per cent of the vote across Thurrock, more than double the share of votes it received in 2012 (18 per cent).
Phil Anderson, the leader of Thurrock Conservatives and shadow leader of the council, was knocked from his post in Stanford East and Corringham Town by UKIP candidate Roy Jones.
What were presumed safe Labour seats in Stifford Clays and Belhus - held by popular ward councillors Angie Gaywood and deputy mayor Wendy Curtis - were snatched away by Graham Snell and Chris Baker, as Thurrock’s residents opted for UKIP.
Lynn Carr, who won by a majority of 300 votes against Labour in 2010, had her seat nabbed by Jan Baker who earned a massive 46 per cent of the vote on Thursday.
There were three recounts for the Tilbury St Chads ward, as 11 ballot papers disappeared. But Labour's Steve Liddiard triumphed with a majority of 18.
There was a recount for the Stifford Clays ward, too, where Labour seemed stunned that they had lost to UKIP - just eight months after winning a by-election there.
Across the borough, Labour took 30 per cent of the vote, while the Conservatives took 28 per cent.
The result means Labour now have 23 seats on the council, the Conservatives 18, UKIP six, with two independents.
UKIP’s Roy Jones, whose win in Stanford East and Corringham Town was the shock of the night, said: “People want change. They’ve had enough of the Pinky and Perky politics. We talk the language of the lay man.
“Until a few years ago, we were thought of as fruit cakes. But not now.”
Mr Anderson blamed his defeat to UKIP on the collapse of the Labour vote in his ward. “The collapse of the Labour vote was so huge and all of those votes went to UKIP. My share of the vote was up by 150 on 2012.”
But Labour denied that it had been a “disastrous” night for them.
John Kent, Labour leader and formerly leader of the council, said: “It’s been a really tough election and clearly, UKIP have given a bit of a kicking to both the main parties.
“We need a period of reflection and to move forward in as mature a way as possible to ensure the council can deliver the best for residents in a difficult time.”
For a full list of results, click here.
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