THE Conservatives have narrowly clung to control of a Sussex council after losing seats to both Labour and the Greens.

Tories in Adur District Council breathed a sigh of relief after maintaining their overall majority, albeit reduced to just one.

The Conservatives won 16 seats, down from 19, after Labour made two gains and the Greens one at the party’s expense.

Council leader Neil Parkin narrowly avoided being defeated in his Hillside ward, defeating his Labour opponent by just 12 votes.

In neighbouring Worthing, the Conservatives faced a ‘red wave’ as Labour gained six council seats and gained control of the council for the first time ever.

Deputy leader of the Conservative administration Edward Crouch was ousted as a councillor by Labour by more than 450 votes in his Marine ward.

The Conservative losses in both Adur and Worthing were symptomatic of the national landscape, with the party losing close to 300 councillors across England, as well as control of ten councils.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, however, said the elections had created a “mixed set of results”.

He said: “We’ve had a tough night in some parts of the country, but on the other hand, in other parts of the country you’re still seeing Conservatives going forward and making quite remarkable gains in places that haven’t voted Conservative for a long time or if ever.”

He also said the results were a “message from voters” to “focus on the big issues that matter to them”.

Meanwhile, Labour leader Keir Starmer praised the results as a “turning point” for the party.

“This is a big turning point for us. We’ve sent a message to the Prime Minister: Britain deserves better,” he told activists in north London.