LABOUR has lost its majority on Durham County Council for the first time in 100 years.

Although they remain by far the party with the most number of councillors, Labour no longer has a majority in Durham, a place where it has had complete control since 1925.

The party began the election with 68 Labour councillors, but suffered 15 losses in another historic loss for the party, who were beaten in the Hartlepool by-election just days ago.

The Conservatives now have 24 seats, gaining 14. The Lib Dems have 17. 

There are many options for forming an administration in no overall control and Labour leader Simon Henig told The Northern Echo: “It has been a challenge election.

“I would like to thank all those people who did support Labour, our candidates fought a very positive campaign.

“We’ve got to look at the next steps moving forward. This is a great county and with a great future ahead of us and we will work with anyone to help realise that.”

Labour councillor Carl Marshall said: “ I am delighted to have retained my seat and I am looking forward to representing the people of Stanley on Durham County Council.

“It’s been a really tough couple of days for the Labour party in County Durham.

“I am very disappointed that we have lost some long-standing councillors have gone, but this is politics and the people have spoken.

“It’s clear that things will be different going forwards but Labour will continue to be the majority party on the council, and I think we will continue to stand up for what the people of County Durham want and believe in.

“We will continue to support young people and businesses through the pandemic and to improve opportunities in the county.”