The Tories have lost control of West Oxfordshire for the first time in 22 years after a long-serving deputy lost their seat.

The Conservative Party used to hold 27 of the 49 seats, but early on Friday two cabinet members, including the deputy leader, lost their seats to Labour and Liberal Democrat candidates.

The West Oxfordshire Council Leader David Harvey had sat on the council since 1998. However, his seat in Witney South was lost to Labour’s Michael Brooker by 68 votes.

READ ALSO: Green Party biggest winner in Oxford City Council election

Outgoing deputy leader Mr Harvey said he did not blame “Boris bashing” for his defeat.

He said: “There are a number of different factors in there, I am sad I won’t be carrying forwards the climate change agenda that is very important.”

He added that the size of the turn out was small and said there is “a certain disaffection with the election system.”

He said: “People seem to be a little bit weary.”

READ ALSO: How Oxford's political make-up has changed in the elections

The Conservatives won four of the 16 seats available, Liberal Democrats won eight seats, labour won three and the Green Party won one seat.

Overall, the Conservatives now have 20 councillors, Liberal Democrats 15, Labour have nine councillors, three sit as independents and there are now two Green councillors.

In Oxford, Labour retained control of Oxford City Council, but did lose some seats to opposition parties.

In the Vale of White Horse, a by-election was held in the Steventon and Hanneys ward. Liberal democrat Sally Povolotsky is the replacement for the Thames Valley’s Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Mathew Barber, who held the seat since 2003.

READ ALSO: AS IT HAPPENED: Oxford's local election results

Mr barber resigned as a district councillor to spend more time on his work as a PCC.

Mrs Povolotsky won 878 votes and beat Conservative’s Louise Brown who secured 519 and Labour’s David Corps, who had 199 votes.

The Conservatives did not just lose seats in Oxfordshire, the party also saw key London strongholds fall to Labour.

As Tory councillors lost their seats across the country against a backdrop of the row about lockdown-busting parties in No 10 and the cost-of-living crisis, local Conservative leaders pointed the finger of blame at the Prime Minister.

Among Tories there was anger and frustration that local councillors were paying the price for the failures of the national leadership.

When asked about Boris Johnson, Mr Harvey admitted national politics “may have affected the result”.

He said: "I think he is in a very difficult position. His leadership on Ukraine has been outstanding, as far as the other issues are concerned, I don't really have a view."

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