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Ukip wins Thanet district council

Thanet council today turned purple, after becoming the first Ukip-controlled authority in the UK.

The party's leader, Nigel Farage, was present at the count - just hours after he announced his intention to quit.

Conservative party leader Bob Bayford looked stony-faced after the announcement Ukip had been victorious.

Nigel Farage arriving at the count
Nigel Farage arriving at the count

The final result was Ukip 33 Conservatives 18 Labour 4 Independent 1.

Tweeting after the victory, Nigel Farage expressed his delight at the win.

He hinted that the party would now help 'save' Manston Airport, which was closed this time last year.

Green Party candidate Ian Driver lost his seat in Eastcliff ward.

He said: "It feels like a high speed train has swept through Thanet politics and I'm shocked.

"It feels like a high speed train has swept through Thanet politics and I'm shocked" - Ian Driver

"Ukip obviously caught the public mood and they are unstoppable.

"I'm disappointed about my seat but I half expected it - this is the first time we've run 13 candidates in a district election and rather than the end, this is the beginning for the Green Party.

"We've had a good number of votes and are building something new - Labour got what they deserved here today."

In an ironic move, the very last seat to be announced was that of Tory leader Bob Bayford, in Kingsgate ward, who was re-elected.

Nigel Farage said: "I am absolutely delighted and this is a true reflection of people's feelings without the tactical voting or the personal smears and abuse.

The Birchington North results are announced
The Birchington North results are announced
Ukip leader Nigel Farage
Ukip leader Nigel Farage

"I'm thrilled and I actually feel quite emotional - we've been a very close team here in Thanet over the last few months.

"I will be watching TDC closely and will be on hand to offer advice, this is a massive success.

"I was always going to be here whatever the results, after building this up from nothing 20 years ago I am immensely proud and we have people from a breadth of backgrounds."

Bob Bayford (Con) said: "Clearly it's not the result we would have liked. "We now have to be diligent on the opposition bench of TDC and given this new Ukip council is hugely inexperienced we will have a tremendous role in holding them to task. "We will work with them just like we worked with Labour to try and force the CPO for Manston Airport. "But I would like to thank Kingsgate residents for voting for me. You're never sure if you've done enough but I'm grateful to be here."Iris Johnston (Lab) said: "I'm only two votes down from last time so I'm extremely grateful to the residents Margate Central and I will continue to work hard for them and work together with Jeffrey Elenor of Ukip.

"I'm very sad for all of our candidates that didn't win - it's not easy to put yourself forward and battle for months on end to garner support.

"We had trouble with the local plan and Manston Airport and I'm not sure everybody understood the difficulties of that.

"The council had to be protected and I would never risk the jobs of my staff.

"I hope the PricewaterhouseCoopers report will point a way forward and perhaps with a strong national government behind Manston something will happen to satisfy all."

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