Birmingham & Black Country

Tories take control of Dudley Council from Labour

Dudley Council Image copyright Google
Image caption The Conservatives now run a minority administration at Dudley Council

The Conservatives have taken control of Dudley Borough Council from the Labour group following support from UKIP.

Dudley has been Labour run since 2012 albeit as a minority administration since last year's local elections.

At a meeting on Thursday, the Tories proposed removing Labour's Pete Lowe as leader with Patrick Harley taking over. The support from UKIP was enough to put the Tories in charge.

Mr Lowe described it as a "sad day for the people of Dudley".

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Analysis: Rob Mayor, BBC Black Country Political Reporter

Labour in Dudley were always vulnerable to a two-pronged attack from the Conservatives and UKIP and the first blow was landed earlier this year when they failed to get a 5% council tax rise approved.

From that point, a change of leadership seemed almost inevitable, but the numbers are tight and the new minority Conservative administration could find things tricky over the next 12 months.

Some of their own councillors are uncomfortable with the idea of working with UKIP, and it remains to be seen how long they will be willing to sit on their hands.

At the elections in 2016, Labour missed out on a majority (with the casting vote of the Mayor) by just three votes in one council ward, they intend to take a message of 'vote Conservative, get UKIP' to the doorstep in Dudley ahead the next election in 2018.

Council leader Mr Harley told the BBC there was "no doubt that it was now a Conservative administration" and said that working with UKIP was "part of running a council with no overall control".

Mr Lowe has described the new arrangements as "Blue-kip", while UKIP's leader Councillor Paul Brothwood said his group were "disappointed with Labour's legacy" and would work with the Conservatives on regeneration.

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