POLITICS
04/05/2018 06:44 BST | Updated 04/05/2018 12:17 BST

Local Election Results 2018: Labour Makes Gains But Fails To Snatch London Targets

Tories keep control of Wandsworth and Westminster and win Barnet.

The Conservative Party has won control of Barnet in an underwhelming night for Labour in London at the local elections.

In the first test for Jeremy Corbyn since the general election, his party also failed to take control of the Tory strongholds of Wandsworth and Westminster.

Early expectations had been raised that Labour could make significant progress in the capital. But in the end it proved too big an ask, despite picking up council seats.

The Conservatives have also retained control of Kensington and Chelsea Council, the site of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Visiting Wandsworth this morning, Theresa May said: “Labour thought they could take control, this was one of their top targets and they threw everything at it, but they failed.”

Asked by Sky News if the results showed the country was past the point of “peak Corbyn”, the Labour leader said “no” and that it was going to get “even better” for the party.

Labour’s failure in Barnet will come as a blow for the party, as it had hoped to win the council from no overall control.

The north London council area has one of the UK’s largest Jewish populations and accusations of anti-Semitism within Labour has already been blamed for the loss.

Sadiq Khan, London’s Labour mayor, defended the results and said the party was “heading for our best result in the capital since 1971”.

There was some better news for Labour outside London with the party taking back control of Plymouth. 

It also become the largest party in Trafford - which had been the Conservative’s only council in Greater Manchester.

But Labour lost overall control of Derby and Nuneaton and Bedworth in the Midlands. The Tories also held on in Swin

Across England, more than 4,000 seats were contested in around 150 councils, including all 32 London boroughs, as well as every ward in Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle.

Ben Bradshaw, the backbench Labour MP told the BBC the party “should be doing much, much better than we have been doing nationally” if it was on course to win the next general election.

Johnny Mercer, the Tory MP for Plymouth, said the his party “must do better” in future in the region.

And Sir Graham Brady, the and chairman of the Conservative 1922 committee of backbenchers, told BBC News the result in Trafford was “deeply disappointing”.

The Conservatives have gained Basildon and Peterborough, which had both been under no overall control.

Leading pollster Sir John Curtice, professor of politics at the University of Strathclyde, said there was little for Labour to celebrate in the results.

He told BBC News: “There is very little in the way of Labour gains. Yes, they have denied the Tories control of Trafford but that’s a very strong Remain area. Beyond that, there isn’t very much for the Labour Party to celebrate.”

The Lib Dems have gained control of Richmond in London, a heavily Remain voting area, from the Tories.

Ukip meanwhile have seen their support collapse - having so far won just two council seats.