Liberal Democrats take control of Windsor and Maidenhead Council for first time in 16 years

Windsor from above (left). Credit: ITV Meridian / PA

The Liberal Democrat leader has visited campaigners and councillors in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead where his party took the council from the Conservatives during the local elections.

Sir Ed Davey, standing in front of what was described as a "general election countdown clock" with a sign saying "Time's up for Rishi Sunak" on the top, said it had been a "wonderful morning" and that the Lib Dems were making "big gains across the country".

He said: "We're continuing to make sure the 'blue wall' tumbles down.

"And I'm so proud of the result here in Windsor. And I'm so proud that when Katy Perry and Lionel Richie enter Windsor Castle for the coronation concert on Sunday, they will be going into a ward that is represented by three brand new Liberal Democrat councillors."

Sir Ed later said he saw a "chance" that a general election could be held within the next 12 months, adding: "My message to my party is: 'A great night for us, but let's go back and work even harder so we can beat the Conservatives at the next general election'."

The Lib Dems now have the majority with 22 seats. The Conservatives had 22 seats on the council before polling day, with the Lib Dems on 10.

Following the elections yesterday the Tories lost 15 seats and have been left with just seven seats.

In comparison the Liberal Democrats gained 12 seats, whilst Independents gained three.

Tory insiders said they had always expected a "tough night for the party", but with the prospect of a general election in 2024 there will be concerns that they have suffered losses across the region.

The former Conservative leader of the council, Simon Dudley, issued a statement earlier this morning, saying the loss will be 'difficult to take'. He said" "Tonight was a humbling night for the local Conservatives. I know this will sting and be difficult to take for many of my local ex-colleagues, candidates, activists and friends.

"Many friends worked tirelessly for residents over the years before yesterday. Some are sadly no longer with us, but added hugely to the public contribution of the local Conservatives to our community.

"Firstly, I would like to congratulate the local Liberal Democrats on taking control of Windsor and Maidenhead council. It has taken much hard work and tenacity to fight back from your low point of 2015. The voters are always right. The tide comes in and the tide goes out in politics. Now it is your time to lead the Royal Borough. I wish you well.

"For the local Conservatives, there is much to reflect on and to be proud of from May 2007. Sixteen years and four election victories since taking control of the council. Much has been achieved from those early days in 2007 campaigning with our fantastic local MP Theresa May."