Labour wins Crawley Council from Conservatives

Peter Lamb
Image caption Crawley now has one of the youngest council leaders in England in Labour's 27-year-old Peter Lamb

Labour has taken control of Crawley Borough Council from the Conservatives.

Crawley had been one of Labour's main election targets. The party needed to take three seats to win power for the first time since 2006, but won four.

The new council leader will be 27-year-old Peter Lamb, one of the youngest council leaders in the country.

Labour also retained control of Hastings, which lost its only UKIP councillor, while the Conservatives kept power in Adur and Worthing.

Labour leader Ed Miliband tweeted: "Congratulations to Labour in Crawley - another #labourgain today. Over the next year they'll show that we can deliver the change people want."

Labour gained the Broadfield South, Ifield, Southgate and West Green wards to take control from the Conservatives, with 20 of 37 councillors. The Tories have 16, down from 20, and UKIP have one.

Councillor Chris Oxlade, who will also be the Labour candidate in next year's general election, said: "We know that people want to vote for change."

Despite retaining control, the Conservatives suffered losses in Adur, losing four seats, and are left with 20 out of 29 councillors.

The Liberal Democrats lost their only councillor, while UKIP added five and now have six seats on the council.

In Worthing, the Tories also retained their majority, adding three to increase their seats to 27 of 37.

The Liberal Democrats lost five councillors leaving them with seven, while both UKIP and the Greens gained a seat each, their first on the council.

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Media captionHastings council leader Jeremy Birch: "Labour's got the majority of the popular vote in the town and that's very promising for us"

In Hastings, council leader, Labour's Jeremy Birch, said: "We've grown from a very strong base, instead of having 23 councillors we now have 24.

"That's an overwhelming majority on the council, Labour's got the majority of the popular vote in the town and that's very promising for us."

Despite Labour's win, Hastings and Rye Conservative MP Amber Rudd said it was a good night for her party, with the number of votes going up.

BBC South East's political reporter Ellie Price tweeted: "High turn-out at Hastings, 37.99% up from 27%- it's thought that's because of the UKIP voters getting mobilised."

The Labour Party tweeted: "Hastings Borough Council is now made up of 24 Labour councillors and 8 Conservatives - key general election seat held by the Tories."

The South East region has also been voting for 10 MEPs in the European election. The results will be announced late on Sunday.