Boris Johnson blamed for Conservative local election losses as Labour and Lib Dems gain

ITV News Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen reports on the difficult set of results for the Conservative party in England's local elections, which saw Labour gains, but were mixed across the country

Boris Johnson is being blamed by grassroots Tories over big losses at the local elections, with the Liberal Democrats, Labour and the Greens making gains as the results were declared.

Labour hailed the 2022 local elections as a "turning point" for the party after it took from the Conservatives local authorities it has not controlled for decades.

Prime Minister Johnson accepted it was a "tough night" for the Conservatives after Sir Keir Starmer's party took control of Westminster City Council for the first time since its creation in 1964 and Wandsworth Council for the first time in 44 years.

Labour also won a majority on the new Cumberland Council, with the Tory leader of Carlisle Council calling on Prime Minister Johnson to resign over the result there and across the country.

Party leader Sir Keir said the results "sent a message to the prime minister that Britain deserves better" as he thanked the Labour team in Barnet for its efforts in taking the council from the Tories.

"This is a big turning point for us," he said, "from the depths of 2019 in that general election, back on track, winning in the north. Cumberland! Southampton! We've changed Labour and now we're seeing the results of that".

But as Sir Keir celebrated the election results, Durham Police revealed it had launched an investigation over whether the Labour leader broke coronavirus rules last year.

Mr Johnson said voters in local council elections have sent a "message" to ministers to concentrate on the issues that matter to them, such as the cost-of-living crisis.

The PM told broadcasters he is "absolutely determined" to help people through the "economic aftershocks" of Covid with "every ounce of compassion and ingenuity".

He added: "We had a tough night in some parts of the country but on the other hand in other parts of the country you are still seeing Conservatives going forward and making quite remarkable gains in places that haven't voted Conservative for a long time, if ever."

ITV News Deputy Political Editor Anushka Asthana breaks down some of the key results in England

Elections were also held in Northern Ireland to elect a new Stormont Assembly.

Sinn Féin topped the count based on first preferences.

Wales and Scotland have not declared all their results, with all local authorities in those devolved nations up for grabs.

But Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon hailed a "seismic" result for the SNP in Glasgow, where it was declared the largest party in the election for Glasgow City Council, with 37 seats to Labour's 36.

Our correspondents in Scotland and Wales have the latest election results - and explain their significance

The SNP also said there was a “strong result” in Edinburgh as it emerged as the local authority’s largest party with 19 seats.

Scottish Conservative Leader Douglas Ross says Mr Johnson "can't ignore the message" sent by voters on Thursday, after the Tories struggled in the nation's council elections.

The Conservatives lost key seats and have seen their share of the vote drop by double-digits in a number of wards.

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Elsewhere, in Wales, the Conservatives have lost control of Monmouthshire - the only council they had majority control of - with Labour now having the most seats.

Votes are still being counted in some battleground areas, but Labour have already wrestled back control of Blaenau Gwent and Bridgend, two councils they lost five years ago.

And the party has also managed to hold on to a majority in Torfaen, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Newport, Swansea, Caerphilly and Cardiff.

Green councillors were elected for the first time in a number of authorities, including in Swansea, while the Liberal Democrats became the largest party in Powys.

In Northern Ireland, Sinn Féin topped the poll in the 2022 assembly election. The party celebrated as it received 250,388 first preferences with the DUP getting 184,002.

It positions Sinn Féin's deputy leader, Michelle O’Neill, to become the region’s first minister, marking a seismic breakthrough for Irish nationalism in Northern Ireland.

This is significant as a victory would be the first time the nationalist party, which is committed to Irish reunification, has beaten unionists in the region.

What is the picture around the country? Take a look at our coverage from across the UK:

Tories blame Boris Johnson for poor election performance

Senior Tory Sir Roger Gale was scathing of the prime minister when speaking to ITV News, saying Mr Johnson is "hanging on by his fingertips".

The North Thanet MP said there could be a vote of no confidence in the PM, revealing that 30 to 40 letters of no confidence had been submitted against him, just 15 short of the number required to trigger a vote on his leadership.

Sir Roger suggested Mr Johnson could try and trigger a no confidence vote in himself "to get that done, dusted and out of the way" but he said that would be a "high risk strategy".

John Mallinson, the former Tory leader of Carlisle Council who will see the council he led replaced by Cumberland Council, said: "I just don’t feel people any longer have the confidence that the prime minister can be relied upon to tell the truth.”

Asked by the BBC if he thought Conservative MPs should oust the PM, Mallinson said: “That would be my preference, yes.”

Wandsworth Tories also appeared to blame Mr Johnson for the loss of control of the council.

Which leader has the most reason to celebrate after the council election results? ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston reports

Ravi Govindia, leader of the Wandsworth Tories, told BBC: "Let's not be coy about it, of course national issues were part of the dilemma people were facing."

Senior Tory Lord Barwell, who was Theresa May's chief of staff, said the local election results were "catastrophic" in London and should be a "wake-up call".

He said on Twitter: "Wandsworth & Westminster were flagship councils. We held them during the Blair honeymoon. We held them during austerity. We held them under Theresa May.

"Losing them should be a wake up call for the Conservative Party."

Labour members were jubilant in Wandsworth after declaring victory, with MP Rosena Allin-Khan saying the party had "made history".

The Tories also lost control of Southampton City Council after just a year of being in power, with Labour taking control.

In Portsmouth, where the Tories lost four seats, Simon Bosher the leader of the Conservative group said Mr Johnson should "take a good, strong look in the mirror" because "those are people that are actually bearing the brunt on the doorstep of behaviour of what's been going on in Westminster".

Electoral progress is slow in the towns that Labour cannot win without, as ITV News Political Correspondent Daniel Hewitt reports

Before the final results were declared in Barnet - which Labour appears to have won from the Tories - the Conservative group leader Daniel Thomas conceded defeat, saying the loss was a "warning shot" from his party's supporters.

"Clearly if Labour are to get a majority in Parliament they need to win Barnet," he said.

"They won the council, if they win our parliamentary constituencies as well, then it doesn't bode well for us to form a government in future general elections."

Labour held onto control of the council chamber in Bury following an all-out election for the 51 seats in the borough.

Labour gained one councillor to give them a total of 29, while the Conservatives lost four and the Liberal Democrats lost three.

The two constituency seats in Bury are among the UK’s most marginal, turning Tory in 2019 before Bury South’s Conservative MP, Christian Wakeford, dramatically defected to Labour in January amid mounting disillusionment with the PM.

It's been suggested the Tories were punished over the cost-of-living crisis and the partygate scandal, with traditional Conservatives choosing to stay at home rather then give swathes of support to Labour.

Who really won the local elections?

Lots of results are yet to be declared in key councils, but the early picture looks as though Labour has had huge success in London but not as much in the rest of the country.

The Tories did make gains in key battlegrounds such as Nuneaton, which it held on to - and Hartlepool, which Labour would have wanted to reclaim after losing the parliamentary seat in a 2021 by-election.

But the Conservative Party has lost well over 100 seats, while the Liberal Democrats has so far won the most seats with more than 50, while Labour is trailing with just short of 40.

The Green Party has also done well, considering it is not one of the big parties, taking more than 20 seats so far, including its first ever seat in Coventry.

The Liberal Democrats also took control of Hull City Council from Labour - a disappointing result for Mr Starmer.

The party focused on making further inroads in Tory heartlands - the "Blue Wall" in southern England - following recent Westminster by-election successes in North Shropshire and Chesham and Amersham.

It won in Richmond, where the Tories won only one seat on the newly redrawn council - and looks set to win in both Wokingham and Somerset.

Party leader Sir Ed Davey celebrated his party's "big gains" in the local elections, sparking a "shockwave across our country that can see this Conservative government tumbling down".

While Labour has made significant progress since the drubbing at the 2019 general election, but critics say the party hasn't won much more than in the 2018 local polls, when then-leader Jeremy Corbyn was blamed for a poor performance.

Tory party chairman Oliver Dowden admitted to ITV News that his party did not perform well in London but insisted it had relative success in other parts of England, given governments are usually punished in mid-term elections.

Greens co-leader Adrian Ramsay said local election results showed the party was now a "credible alternative to the establishment parties".

He added: "The Green Party has now made breakthrough gains three elections running and we are expecting that trajectory to continue as people increasingly vote for candidates who listen, work hard on local issues, and are serious about the climate emergency."