English voters punish both Britain's main parties for Brexit chaos: early results

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"If there are deals and a coalition, it lets the results down as the residents have said they want an even split".

The Home Secretary also said the SNP was ready to form a "socialist-separatist alliance" with Labour at the next election, which he claimed would pose a threat to national security.

"We have set out a very clear manifesto and are united as a group to make sure we deliver it". The Greens, who also back a second Brexit referendum, gained 68 council seats, the partial results showed, and independent candidates won 251 seats.

In the Exmouth Town ward, while Cllr Wragg retained her seat, fellow Liberal Democrat Tim Dumper was ousted after only one year on the council.

British voters punished the country's two main political parties in local elections, according to early results on Friday, with anger over Brexit cited as the most likely reason.

The Conservative Party saw its majority wiped out as a number of prominent councillors lost their seats.

Both the Conservative and Labour high commands left no doubt that they saw the results as a demand for resolution of the Brexit impasse three years after the 2016 vote for European Union withdrawal.

At the last council poll in 2015, held on the same day as the general election, the Conservatives took 100 per cent of the seats.

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As of 4pm, the Tories had lost 903 council seats, with most seats being conceded to the Liberal Democrats.

"The Liberal Democrats are the big winners of this year's elections, with already our best result for over 15 years and more gains expected", said party leader Vince Cable.

The coming weeks will see negotiations and potentially coalitions to decide whether the Lib Dems or Labour will control the council.

'They can see she is not in control of events, ' he added.

Rachel Massey and Elsie Wraighte, both Labour, have been voted in as new councillors in Spotland & Falinge and Kingsway, respectively, replacing retiring councillor Cecile Biant and former Labour councillor Lynne Brosnan. Independents picked up 14 seats and Labour 13.

Labour chairman Ian Lavery told the BBC that Brexit was "trumping" his party's arguments against austerity.

Other results followed in a similar vain as Tory councillors Mike Bradley, Richard Hobbs, Carol Sennitt and Mark Goldsack all lost their seats. It is really great to represent the people of West Middleton along with my fellow councillors and MP, who have all worked hard over the years, providing help and support and tackling issues.

Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister of Scotland and from the Scottish National Party, tweeted: "If the message Labour takes from English local elections is that they should now be the facilitator of a Tory Brexit, I suspect their troubles will just be beginning".

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