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London turns blue

Teachers in many parts of London will now find themselves working with Conservative-controlled education authorities after last week's local elections.

The London boroughs of Bexley, Ealing, Harrow, Hammersmith and Fulham, Havering and Hillingdon fell to the Tories as the Labour vote collapsed across the capital.

Coventry, Crawley and Croydon also changed political allegiance as a result of the Conservative renaissance, which saw the party's share of the vote nationally rise to 40 per cent. Labour's share sank to 26 per cent, one percentage point behind the Liberal Democrats.

As well as losing marginal boroughs such as Ealing to the Tories, Labour lost control of some local authorities previously regarded as impregnable bastions.

The previously Labour London boroughs of Brent, Camden, Hounslow, Lewisham and Merton are no longer controlled by any single political party. The only gain made by Labour was Lambeth. The party's losses in London were combined with losing their grip of provincial towns and cities such as Plymouth, Stoke-on-Trent and Warrington to no overall control.

Liberal Democrat fortunes were mixed. They gained the London borough of Richmond from the Tories, while losing Islington to no overall control.

Milton Keynes was also lost to no overall control.

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