Nottingham Lib Dem calls for Clegg's resignation

The ousted leader of the Liberal Democrats at Nottingham City Council has called on Nick Clegg to resign following his party's election losses.

Gary Long, whose party has lost all of its six seats at the council, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that Mr Clegg had run the coalition "very badly".

But Paul Scriven, the Lib Dem leader in Sheffield and a close ally of Mr Clegg, said the deputy PM had "backbone".

Labour retained control of the council, gaining eight seats.

The party now holds 50 of the 55 seats, with the Conservatives on five after losing two seats.

Speaking on Today before the Nottingham results were officially announced, Mr Long said: "I'm in favour of the coalition but I think he's run it very badly and in my view he should resign immediately."

Mr Scriven defended Mr Clegg's record, saying both coalition parties had to "take some of the pain" because they were having to make "really difficult decisions" to clear up the "toxic debt" left by Labour.

Asked whether he had faith in Mr Clegg, he said: "What we need at the moment is a leader who's not going to do a Blair or a Brown, i.e., flip flop every time a result comes in or there is an opinion poll.

"What Nick Clegg brings to this government is two things - first of all, the absolute resolve and backbone to see out, even in these difficult situations for the Liberal Democrats, getting the economy back into balance."

Image caption Labour took control of Ashfield Council

Elsewhere in Nottinghamshire, the Labour Party has taken control of the district of Bassetlaw by winning 11 seats in the local election.

The Conservatives lost five seats to drop from 23 seats to 18 on the council.

The new council has 27 Labour members with the independents holding the remaining three seats.

Labour also took control of Ashfield Council, which had been under no overall control, after gaining 15 seats, including seven from the Lib Dems and the Tories' only seat.

In Broxtowe, the council remained under no overall control but Labour gained seven seats and the Lib Dems lost five.

Labour won control in Gedling from the Conservatives, gaining 13 seats from the Tories and five from the Lib Dems.

The Conservatives lost control of Newark and Sherwood, leaving the authority under "no overall control". This means the parties must negotiate with each other to see how the council can be run.

There was no change for Rushcliffe which remains a Conservative authority.

Results have still to come in for Newark and Sherwood.

In Mansfield, the town's mayoral election is also being held for the third time since 2002.

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