Oxford

Oxfordshire election 2017: Tories form alliance to run county

The alliance was officially confirmed at a meeting of the full council
Image caption The alliance was officially confirmed at a meeting of the full council

Conservatives have formed an alliance with two independent councillors to run Oxfordshire County Council.

The Tories emerged as the biggest party in the local elections on 4 May, but without the 32 seats needed for a majority.

Following talks with two independent councillors one has been given a cabinet post to secure his support for the Conservatives.

But the council's Labour group said it was a "murky deal".

Labour councillor Laura Price said: "We don't know what that was in exchange for. I'd be very interested to know if it lasts for four years."

And Labour group leader Liz Brighouse said people voted for the parties "to work together" and did not give one group overall control.

But the Conservatives defended their decision saying it would mean a "strong and stable" administration.

New deputy leader Judith Heathcoat said: "We had an alliance in the last administration. It sure as heck worked."

Independent Mark Gray has now been appointed member for local communities, and Conservative Ian Hudspeth was again voted in as council leader.

In the election the Tories took 31 seats, followed by Labour with 14, the Lib Dems with 13, independents four and Henley Residents Group one.

Image caption The local elections left the Conservatives with the same number of councillors as before

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