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Conservative leader of Folkestone and Hythe District Council confirms party alliance with Ukip and Independent councillors

ByMolly Mileham-Chappell

Conservatives at Folkestone and Hythe District Council (FHDC) have formed an alliance with two Ukip councillors and one Independent, the leader has confirmed.

Speaking exclusively to KentOnline this afternoon, Cllr David Monk announced he has agreed a political party alliance today, following last week's shock local elections.

The Conservatives, who previously held 23 seats on the council, lost 10 in the early hours of Friday morning when the district council's election results were announced, resulting in them losing their majority.

Cllr David Monk (Con) (9576936)
Cllr David Monk (Con) (9576936)

Cllr Monk said at the time he would seek to form an administration with others, which has today been confirmed to be Ukip councillors Ian Meyers and Terry Mullard and Independent Cllr David Wimble.

The leader told KentOnline the deal was made this afternoon: "That effectively gives me 16 of the 30 seats.

"I've just firmed it up and made the agreements."

He added that the trio had been approached by other parties to form an alliance, but ultimately chose the Tories.

Talking about the alliance, Cllr Monk continued: "It's a bit knife edge, but here we go.

"I'm very confident that they will be excellent allies."

The FHDC elections count at the Three Hills Sports Park on Friday morning (9779945)
The FHDC elections count at the Three Hills Sports Park on Friday morning (9779945)

Thousands of residents turned out to the polling stations across the district last Thursday to have their say on who should represent them amid one of the most turbulent and unpredictable political backdrops across the country in years.

Counters stayed up all night at the Three Hills Sports Park to validate the ballot papers after voting closed at 10pm.

The night got off to a slow start with the first result being announced after 1am. Full results were announced around 5am.

The rest of the council is now made up of six Green Party councillors, six Labour councillors and two Liberal Democrats.

Conservative leader Cllr David Monk narrowly held on to his Folkestone Central ward seat on the night.

The polls across Kent saw the biggest test of electoral opinion since 2017 and are taking place in the shadow of Brexit.

Cllr Meyers, Cllr Mullard and Cllr Wimble have all been contacted for comment.

Elsewhere, the Labour Party ended up taking control of Folkestone Town Council, after gaining nine seats.

For a live blog of the FHDC results as they happened, click here.

New Tory council leader elected after secret ballot, click here

For the complete picture across the county, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Folkestone

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