WEST OXON: Bad night for Tories as they lose five seats
WEST Oxfordshire Conservatives took a hammering as voters sent a "serious message" to Prime Minister David Cameron, according to a jubilant new Labour councillor.
Labour won three seats, in Witney East, Witney Central and Chipping Norton, while the Lib Dems won in both Charlbury and Finstock and Mr Hudspeth's former seat of Woodstock and Bladon.
Sixteen seats across the district were contested in total.
Conservative group leader Barry Norton blamed the losses on collusion in key wards between the Labour and Lib Dems, but this was rubbished by both parties.
Mr Norton said: "I put the losses down to the Lib and Lab coalition in selecting their candidates. They have clearly targeted us and only put up candidates from one or the other party.
"Voters will feel disenfranchised in every seat where we have lost tonight because they were not able to vote for the party of their choice."
He said there was no anti-Government feelings on the doorstep, adding: "We have won in all the places we stood where we have had more than one candidate to fight against.
"It is sticking two fingers up to the electorate by saying to them two parties are not going to stand here because this is the only way we can beat the most popular party."
New Labour councillor Duncan Enright said: "This sends a serious message to David Cameron from his own constituency that he needs to concentrate on economic growth and invest in the people of Britain.
"For us, it is a good first step to opening up the council to be more responsive to people in West Oxfordshire."
He said claims of collusion were "rubbish", adding: "There were no UKIP candidates and that is a vote that would have split the Conservatives.
"The Labour party would like to stand everywhere but we concentrate our efforts where we believe we have the most chance of standing up for people we represent and success."
Lib Dem group leader Julian Cooper said: "The message this sends is that the public like the fact that the Lib Dems put compassion into politics."
He said allegations of collusion were untrue and said the uncontested seat in Milton-under-Wychwood, won by the Conservatives, was proof of this.