Leaders renew campaigns after local elections boost Tories

The main party leaders have returned to the campaign trail as they continue to digest the impact of Friday's local election results.

Jeremy Corbyn said Labour face a "historic" task after the results fueled opposition fears of a Tory landslide.

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Claims IndyRef2 may be halted by Tory boost 'ludicrous'

Nicola Sturgeon has said it is "ludicrous" to claim her drive for a second independence referendum could be derailed by a surge in Tory support in Scotland.

The First Minister and SNP leader accepted the Conservatives in Scotland had been boosted by a record number of local councillors north of the border but said the SNP had still "won this election comfortably".

"Yes, the Tories made gains and had a good performance by their standards - but that support came from Labour not the SNP," she said.

"So Labour and the Tories are fighting it out for second place while the SNP continues to be comfortably in first place."

Mrs Sturgeon said the results showed the preference of voters for her party that "fought on local issues" against a Tory campaign that put the referendum "centre stage" and "lost" the election.

"They chose to fight the election on the issue of an independence referendum, they talked about nothing else, they didn't have any policies for local government," she said.

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Nuttall says Ukip vote was 'caught in a Tory tidal wave'

Paul Nuttall has said Ukip's punishing local election results saw it "caught in a Tory tidal wave" - but denied his party was now drowned out of mainstream politics.

The Ukip leader said Theresa May's Conservatives had "stolen our ground because she's able to talk the talk" as he campaigned in Skegness, Lincolnshire.

Yet he said he expected voters to return to his party when people realised Mrs May could not "walk the walk" in Brexit negotiations.

"She will buckle," Mr Nuttall said. "She will start to barter things away. Fisheries will go, there will be movement on immigration, on freedom of movement - she will buckle on that."

He added that "politics is a long term game" and insisted his party's future was "really bright" and could well be "bigger than it ever has before".

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