THE Conservative leader of Thurrock Council has resigned from the role after Labour gained a clear majority at the May 2 elections. 

Andrew Jefferies, leader of Thurrock Council’s Conservative group, has announced his resignation as leader of the council today.

The resignation will take effect from Wednesday, May 22.

The councillor for Ockendon ward said he was proud of the work done during the last year to return the council to financial stability, but the result of the recent election "was clear".

Mr Jefferies said: “It has been an honour to lead Thurrock Council over the last 12 months and I and colleagues have worked hard to help the council on its journey to recovery. We have had to make some difficult decisions, but we have always strived to put the people of the borough first.

“I am proud to say that I believe the work we have done during the last year has played a significant role in beginning to return the council to financial stability, but there is still much to do.

“However, the result of the local election was clear, and the electorate has voted for different political leadership. I acknowledge that, and resign my position as leader, without question.”

Labour needed to gain six seats to take control of Thurrock, which has been run by the Tories for the past few years during a period of turbulence that saw the council declared effectively bankrupt in December 2022.

Labour ended up making a net gain of eight seats, enough for a clear majority, with Independents picking up two and the Tories suffering a net loss of 10.

“I will continue to support all measures aimed at restoring the council’s finances and, as a ward councillor and leader of the opposition, I will do all I can to ensure that Thurrock is evermore a diverse, prosperous, and dynamic community,” Mr Jefferies added.