For many Tories, this morning's news will be a bitter pill to swallow as the party, as well as Labour, suffered big defeats in the local elections.

Rather unexpectedly, the public rallied against the main parties' Brexit strategies, resulting in the pro-EU Liberal Democrats making huge gains in traditionally Conservative and Labour areas.

The Lib Dems achieved a gain of 283 seats across the country, with some results still yet to be declared, with the parties anti-Brexit stance clearly resonating with the public who have been left frustrated and beleaguered by the government's handling of the situation.

One person who will be particularly unhappy about Thursday's result is likely to be Jacob Rees-Mogg, the prominent Brexiteer and Tory MP for North East Somerset, who now has a Lib Dem councillor in the village of West Harptree, where he currently calls home.

West Harptree falls under the Bath and North East Somerset Council, as part of the Mendip ward, whose Tory leader Tim Warren was toppled by the Lib Dems' David Wood.

The significance of a Tory council leader losing his seat to a Lib Dem cannot be underestimated, but people couldn't help but find the fact that Rees-Mogg now has a pro-EU Lib Dem councillor right on his doorstep a source of great amusement.

Even Wera Hobhouse, the Lib Dem MP for Bath, thought it was hilarious and congratulated Wood on his victory.

Speaking after learning the result of the vote, Warren blamed Brexit for the loss but congratulated Wood on his efficient campaign.

I feel we've been given a kicking for something that wasn't our fault. I don't think people are happy. The people that voted to remain blame us for leaving and the people that voted to leave blame us because we haven't left yet.

I think its almost anti-political. I think a lot of people didn't turn out and I think they want to punish us for a lack of action in government if I am honest. I'm sure there are one or two things we've done locally they don't like but on a whole, I think its national issues.

The guy who took my seat did a great campaign and when you are running a council you have to work full-time and I didn't have the time to match him. It sounds cheap to blame anybody but Brexit didn't help.

Warren, who will remain the leader of the council until the annual general meeting, added that he believed that there needs to be a "change in action" in the Conservative party, on leadership or policies.

HT Huffington Post

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