'You're surely not blaming Putin for losing Medway': Tory chairman blames Ukraine war for 'difficult' election results

5 May 2023, 09:50 | Updated: 5 May 2023, 13:29

Tory party chairman has said the local election results are 'disappointing'
Tory party chairman has said the local election results are 'disappointing'. Picture: LBC/Getty/Twitter/Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

The Conservative party has said the war in Ukraine is one of the major factors behind its disappointing results at the local elections.

The Tories have lost control over a number of councils, including Medway in Kent, which had been ran by the party for 23 years.

Reacting to the results, Tory party chairman Greg Hands told LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast: "Well, look - it's been a disappointing night for us and we all said it would be said it would likely to be so.

"We've lost good leaders, councils, councillors, so it's been a difficult night for us overall."

Asked what he puts his party's poor results down to, Mr Hands said: "In many cases, it's local factors, in many cases it's classic mid-term government unpopularity."

Greg Hands: Vladimir Putin was partly responsible for a loss of control in a 'disappointing night'

The Tory party chairman went on: "Clearly, last year was a very difficult year for the whole country, for the whole party.

"After Putin's invasion of Ukraine, the spike in energy prices, the big rise in inflation. People are still dealing with the consequences of that."

Asked if he is blaming Vladimir Putin for losing control of Medway council in Kent after 23 years, Mr Hands said: "Well I'm saying the backdrop to these elections has not been the best."

Read More: Voter ID is 'a load of rubbish': Frustrated voters turned away from local elections for not having right documents

Read More: Jubilant Labour ‘on track for No10’ as PM pledges to stay the course after huge Tory local election losses

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak admitted it is "always disappointing to lose hard-working Conservative councillors".

"They're friends, they're colleagues and I'm so grateful to them for everything they've done," Mr Sunak said.

"In terms of the results, it's still early, we've just had a quarter of the results in, but what I am going to carry on doing is delivering on the people's priorities."

"That's what people want us to do, that's what I'm going to keep hard at doing," Mr Sunak added.

Andrew Marr gives his expert analysis on the local election results

The Liberal Democrats have also had a successful set of results so far, with Sir Ed Davey describing the results as "ground-breaking".

The party has seized control of Windsor and Maidenhead, with Sir Ed learning about the results live on LBC.

He told Nick Ferrari: "Wahey - fantastic! That is amazing. That is a stunning result.

"When we began this campaign, we thought we'd make a few gains there. We didn't think we'd take control of the council."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Rowling criticises Sir Keir along with several members of his shadow cabinet

JK Rowling 'struggling to support' Labour over Sir Keir's stance on transgender rights that's 'abandoning' women

Taylor Swift poses with the Royal Family

Taylor Swift takes selfie with William, George and Charlotte - as Prince of Wales spotted dancing away to ‘Shake It Off’

Chris Packham has blamed the media for the radical action of Just Stop Oil

Environmental activist Chris Packham blames media for existence of Just Stop Oil

Starmer labels Farage's comments 'disgraceful'

Farage’s comments on Ukraine are ‘disgraceful’, Starmer tells LBC, as PM accuses him of ‘playing into Putin’s hands’

Timberlake was arrested after having dinner with friends on Long Island

Justin Timberlake breaks silence on drink-driving arrest at Chicago concert

Nigel Farage

General Election LIVE: Tories rally against Farage after Reform leader says West provoked Russia into invading Ukraine

Dr Michael Mosley and his wife, Clare.

‘We miss him so much’: Michael Mosley’s widow says she will continue his work in emotional tribute

Temperatures are expected to soar to 30C

Exact date Brits to bask in 30C heat as Met Office predicts first official heatwave of summer

The four individuals were given sentences ranging from four to four-and-a-half years

Four members of Britain's richest family handed jail sentences after exploiting servants in Geneva villa

Jay Slater had travelled to the Canary Islands for a music festival

Search for missing British teenager in Tenerife hindered by social media conspiracy theories

Damage can be seen to a front window law enforcement officers work the scene of a shooting at the Mad Butcher grocery store in Fordyce, Ark

Three killed and 10 injured in shooting at supermarket in Arkansas

Jay Slater had travelled to the Canary Islands for a music festival

Spanish police reject help from Lancashire Constabulary as desperate search for missing Brit Jay Slater continues

Kemi Badenoch has warned that Labour will reverse Brexit

Keir Starmer will 'reverse Brexit' if Labour wins election, Kemi Badenoch warns

Jay Slater had travelled to the Canary Islands for a music festival

Owner of flat where missing Brit Jay Slater was staying in Tenerife spotted him 'walking fast' up dangerous ravine

Labour is said to be drafting options for wealth taxes

Labour 'draws up plans for wealth taxes' in bid to 'unlock' funds for public services

Nigel Farage said that the West had provoked Putin into invading Ukraine

'We gave Putin an excuse': Nigel Farage says the West provoked Russia into invading Ukraine