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Canterbury City Council leader Simon Cook loses seat as Mike Sole wins

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Canterbury City Council leader Simon Cook has emphatically lost his seat to the Liberal Democrats, as results continue to come in.

The former Tory councillor lost in Nailbourne ward by 238 votes to Mike Sole (Lib Dem).

It was always likely he would face stiff competition after it was announced the Lib Dems and Greens had formed an electoral alliance in a bid to overturn his slender majority of 73.

The results, declared today at Westgate Hall, revealed the Lib Dems had secured 831 votes compared to 593 for the Tories in the ward.

Speaking after his defeat, outgoing council leader Mr Cook, said: "Who can say why I lost?

"Mike Sole worked very hard, and I worked very hard but the voters voted as they did.

"I absolutely have no regrets.

"We ran a very good council for four years and I am pleased with what we have done - but it is a big shame. Life goes on."

WATCH: Simon Cook reacts to his defeat

Meanwhile, Mike Sole is jubilant following his victory.

He took a front seat when objecting to the highly-controversial Highland Court Farm development which would have been built near Bridge, in the Nailbourne ward. Mr Cook did also speak out against the development but only truly revealed his objections to the scheme on the day of the planning committee's decision.

Mike Sole's criticism of the project proved popular with villagers and could have been a big factor in yesterday's voting.

Watch reaction from newly-elected Nailbourne councillor Mike Sole

For the Nailbourne ward, the Lib Dems and Tories were followed by Mike Ferguson (Ukip) with 124 votes and Evelyn Andrews (Lab) with 115 votes.

Mr Cook is one of three council leaders to lose their seats in today's local elections results.

Andrew Bowles, who had been on Swale Council since 1987, lost his seat to the Greens, while Tunbridge Wells leader David Jukes lost out to Lucy Willis of the Tunbridge Wells Alliance.

Follow our live election blog for all the latest from the Canterbury count.

We've got all the Kent election results covered here.

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