The Conservative party has retaken control of Cherwell District Council just weeks after they lost their majority.

Barry Wood will lead a minority administration with the Progressive Oxfordshire Group - a coalition of Green, Lib Dem, and independent councillors - remaining as the official opposition.

Mr Wood got 21 votes at the meeting last night (Tuesday, May 23), with Labour leader Sean Woodcock receiving 11.

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There were 10 abstentions which came from members of the Progressive Oxfordshire Group.

This comes following Labour’s decision last week to pull out of plans to form a coalition with the Progressive Oxfordshire Group.

A meeting was also held last Tuesday, May 16, but neither Mr Wood nor Mr Woodcock were elected as leader.

Green Group leader Ian Middleton expressed his frustration with the situation.

He said: “The Greens are bitterly disappointed that we have not been able to fulfil our promise to the electorate and take joint control of the council from the Conservatives.

“We apologise to residents for that, but Labour made it impossible to agree an equitable deal that they would have been a significant part of with 50 per cent of the Executive seats.

“We only asked for one seat on a 10 seat executive which was proportionate in view of us making up slightly more that 10 per cent of the total alliance.

Liberal Democrat leader, David Hingley, added: “We remain very disappointed with the outcome this evening.

“The Conservatives are on borrowed time.

“At any point, if Banbury Labour group can persuade their political masters in the Labour National Executive Committee to see sense, together we can remove the Tories and create a majority progressive alliance. Our door remains open.”

His comments come following reports earlier in the week that Labour party national executive had vetoed coalition plans with the Liberal Democrats and the Greens.

Labour leader Sean Woodcock said: “At the recent set of elections the residents of Cherwell delivered a damning verdict against the local Conservative run council and the Conservative Government.

“As the second largest party, we took our democratic responsibility seriously and attempted to form an administration.

“However, the so called ‘progressive Oxfordshire’ took the decision to abstain. Not only did this deny their residents a voice in who runs the council, but also handed power back to the Conservatives.

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“Whist we are obviously disappointed, we will continue to work tirelessly to scrutinise the minority Conservative administration to deliver the best deal for our residents and the people of Cherwell.”

Conservative leader Barry Wood said: “It is quite usual in local government for the largest party to form a minority administration so there is nothing new here really.

“Running a minority administration is entirely different to running a majority so I will be looking to build a collaborative and consensual approach with the other parties.”