United Kingdom local elections have crushed any hope of changing course on Brexit


Al Jazeera's Barnaby Phillips, reporting from Westminster, said it was striking that the Conservatives had made gains in Scotland, pushing Labour - once the dominant political force in Scotland - into third place, behind the Scottish National Party and the Conservatives.

Corbyn's team, however, has a different reason for why the Labour Party's support crashed so hard during the local elections.

Labour's defeated mayoral candidate in the West Midlands, Sion Simon, said Labour supporters were dissatisfied with the party, even in places they had won.

Following Labour's historic loss at the local council elections, John McDonnell says the party will "come out fighting" for the general election.

But she insisted the SNP had "won this election comfortably" with her party ending up with "more votes, more seats, more councils where we are the largest party, not just compared to every other party but compared to five years ago".

The Prime Minister sought to fight any complacency among Tories, insisting that she was "taking nothing for granted" when it comes to the General Election on June 8.

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"It seems that the Theresa May and the Conservative Party have consolidated their grip on the right-wing of the British electorate, and they are very much the party that is trusted to deliver Brexit", said Phillips.

On that occasion, UKIP won 15 seats and the Tories lost 20. Results from Thursday's local elections suggest the message is getting through.

Voters across England, Scotland and Wales went to the polls Thursday to choose almost 5,000 new local councilors, in the shadow of campaigning for the snap June 8 general election and a bitter debate over Britain's departure from the European Union.

"This Brexit negotiation is central to everything", May said after her meeting with Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday, marking the dissolution of Parliament and start of the election campaign.

The United Kingdom Independence Party won one new seat, and lost all 114 they were defending.

The final results for the local elections are in - and it's not looking good for Labour.

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Florian Philippot, an FN deputy leader, said the party "completely owned up" to the fact that the speech resembled one by Fillon.

He said: "It's not my decision, that's for the party to decide, but the scale of this result is going to signal to them that actually it's a constituency that only needs a nine per cent swing and we got an 18 per cent swing last night".

"To do that you need a proper working majority and that's what Theresa May is asking for from people who previously wouldn't have voted for us and may well have voted either Ukip or Labour".

Stephen Kinnock, who is contesting the seat of Aberavon, said the results amounted to a "disastrous picture" and Corbyn's leadership had come up as an issue on the doorstep.

"As we go into the General Election, the people of Scotland have a clear choice", she said.

It was a mixed bag for the Liberal Democrats. "It is about continuing to fight for the best Brexit deal for families and businesses across the United Kingdom to lock in the economic progress we've made and get on with the job of making a success of the years ahead".

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