THE Liberal Democrats secured a second place on South Oxfordshire District Council with a by-election win on Thursday.

Sue Cooper, who has previously served on the council, won 1,048 votes to beat the Conservatives' Domenic Papa for the vacant Benson and Crowmarsh seat.

Mr Papa won 685 votes and William Sorenson, the Labour candidate, secured 121 votes to take third place.

The by-election was triggered after the resignation of Conservative councillor Richard Pullen, who stepped down in April following the election of new council leader Jane Murphy.

Mrs Cooper has previously served as a Liberal Democrat group leader on the council, as its chairman and a member of the council's cabinet.

She was involved with the introduction of green recycling boxes to South Oxfordshire.

She also has stood as her party's candidate for the Henley constituency in the past. In May 2015 she came third behind current Tory MP John Howell and Labour's Sam Juthani.

Her election brings the total number of Lib Dems on the district council to two. David Turner, who represents Chalgrove, is the other.

Independent Stefan Gawrysiak and Labour councillor Mocky Khan are the council's only non-Conservatives.

There are now 32 Conservative councillors, two Lib Dems, one independent and one Labour.

Mrs Cooper's first council meeting back as a member of the authority will be held next month on July 19.