Local elections 2022: Hull Labour leader blames defeat to Lib Dems on 'collapse' of Tory vote

The Liberal Democrats have taken Hull City Council after support for the ruling Labour group collapsed in this year’s local elections.

The Liberal Democrats, in opposition since 2011, have toppled cabinet member Cllr Gwen Lunn in University and Cllr John Black, the ruling group’s longest-serving member was also among the Labour casualties.

Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Mike Ross said: “Tonight is an emphatic vote for change in Hull.

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“We thank the thousands that voted Liberal Democrat today, they sent a message no one can ignore.”

Hull Council Labour group leader Daren HaleHull Council Labour group leader Daren Hale
Hull Council Labour group leader Daren Hale

It comes as Labour leader Cllr Daren Hale said he felt the ruling group had come up short just over two hours after counting began after 10pm.

Mr Hale blamed the defeat on the Tory vote “collapsing” in parts of the city.

He said: “That’s effectively an anti-Labour vote so it’s gone to the Lib Dems in a number of wards.”

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Labour went into polling day with 29 of the council’s 57 seats, a working majority of one, to the Liberal Democrats’ 26.

By the end of the count the Liberal Democrats won 29 seats to Labour’s 27, with one independent.

Elsewhere, Cllr John Fareham ended his stint as the Conservatives’ sole councillor after Labour’s Sarah Harper took the seat, one of the party’s few successes of the evening.

His loss comes amid mounting anger against the Conservatives nationally over the mounting cost of living crisis and the recent coronavirus lockdown parties scandal.

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Labour in Hull also now face a major debate about their way forward after losing their 10-year grip on power in a historically Labour supporting city.

Turnout for the election was 23.5 per cent, down from 24.1 per cent last year but up from 22.6 per cent.

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