Sheffield & South Yorkshire

UKIP makes major gains in Rotherham at Labour's expense

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Media captionUKIP took 10 seats in what is a traditional Labour stronghold

UKIP has won 10 of the 21 seats up for election on Rotherham Council, though Labour retains control.

UKIP took seven seats from Labour, two from the Conservatives and held a seat it won in a by-election last year.

Jahangir Akhtar, the council's deputy leader, was among Labour's casualties, losing his seat in Rotherham West.

UKIP also won three seats in Sheffield, while the council's Liberal Democrat group leader was among five LibDem councillors ousted.

In Sheffield, Labour won 18 out of 29 seats, maintaining the party's overall control, while two seats went to the Green Party and six to the LibDems.

Labour also retained its hold on Barnsley Council, taking one seat from the Conservatives but losing one to the Barnsley Independent Group (BIG).

Out of the 21 seats being contested, Labour held a total of 17, while also gaining a seat in Penistone West from the Conservatives and losing its Old Town seat to an independent.

'People are angry'

Meanwhile, UKIP has also gained its first seat in Doncaster - in the Edenthorpe, Kirk Sandall and Barnby Dun ward - while Labour maintains overall control of the council.

With a total of 21 seats up for election in Doncaster, Labour won 15 and the Conservatives won three, while independents won two seats and UKIP one.

In Rotherham, UKIP will be the largest opposition group on the authority and councillor Caven Vines told the BBC it was a "phenomenal" result for the party.

Despite UKIP's gains, Labour remains firmly in control of Rotherham council, with 50 of the authority's 63 councillors, as only one third of the seats were up for grabs in this election.

Mr Vines added: "To take 10 is unbelievable. But not only that, we've come so close in others losing by just a few votes."

'Positive results'

UKIP chairman Steve Crowther insisted the successes were "not a flash in the pan".

"We are absolutely delighted with the 10 seats we have taken in Rotherham," he said. "That was just a tremendous result."

John Healey, the Labour MP for Wentworth and Dearne, admitted it had been a good night for UKIP.

"This is a message or a warning if you like, to all mainstream parties - a challenge to us all because people are angry," he said.

In Sheffield, ousted Lib Dem leader Shaffaq Mohammed told BBC Radio Sheffield that despite losing his own seat the party had enjoyed some "positive results" elsewhere in the city.

Mr Mohammed had switched his seat from Broomhill to Crookes for this election.

Deputy Prime Minister and Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg told told BBC News that despite a "mixed night" after his party suffered heavy losses in council elections he would not be resigning.