Leader of Stockport Council loses seat by 45 votes

Dave Goddard
Dave Goddard had been a councillor for 22 years Photo: ITV Granada

The Liberal Democrat leader of the hung council in Stockport has lost his seat to Labour.

Dave Goddard lost his ward of Offerton to Labour's Laura Booth. She received 1,346 votes, just 45 more than Goddard.

Lib Dem MP for Cheadle and Assistant Government Whip Mark Hunter watched in Stockport's council chamber as the result was announced.

He said: "Obviously I'm very disappointed that we've lost my long time friend and colleague Dave Goddard as leader of the council by the narrowest of margins.

"Politics is a cruel game. All of us that get involved in it know that it can be very difficult indeed, and sadly I think Offerton ward has lost a great servant.

"It was a difficult one for us this year. We'd had a defection in that ward previously and Labour certainly were out for him, there's no doubt about that."

The Lib Dems needed to gain 3 wards to take control of Stockport Council after losing it last year. They had control of the council for 12 years.

Stockport remains under no overall control, with the Liberal Democrats now four seats from a majority.

The ousted leader's deputy Sue Derbyshire said: "Well, it's mixed. We've lost Dave Goddard who has been an excellent leader, but we've made a gain against the Conservatives, and we've held all the other seats that we were defending."

Labour's Wendy Wild took a seat from Liberal Democrat Ann Smith in Davenport and Cale Green.

Wild said: "This is a clear message. It's time for change. We have had a tremendous night tonight and we're absolutely delighted."