DELIGHTED Labour candidates are celebrating a landslide victory this morning as the party take control of Dudley Council.

During an eventful night-time count, the Tories lost 13 seats to the Labour Party and one to the Green Party, with the new-look council now standing at Labour 41, Conservative 29 and Green 1.

In Dudley North alone, Labour snatched two wards from the Conservative Party and knocked out the borough’s only UKIP councillor.

In Upper Gornal and Woodsetton, Labour’s Keiran Casey polled 1,220 votes to knock out Tory Julian Ryder, who came second with 859 votes, while incoming councillor Dave Branwood snatched victory from top Tory David Stanley, in Gornal, notching up 1,409 votes to the former cabinet member’s 1,336 votes, prompting loud cheers from the floor.

Over in St James’s ward, young Asif Ahmed, a 22 year-old law graduate beat off competition to secure his place alongside his dad and fellow ward councillor, Khurshid Ahmed, on the council with 1,321 votes, wiping out the UKIP party from Dudley Council, with Malcolm Davis coming second with 1,132 votes.

Asif, who is one of the youngest members of the council, said: “I am overwhelmed and grateful for the people coming out and supporting me. I promise to work hard for them.”

Dad, Khurshid, added: “He has done this all himself, but I am really delighted for him. This shows that hard work really does pay off and he will continue to work hard for the people of St James’s.”

Meanwhile Labour’s Margaret Aston safely retained her Castle and Priory seat with 1,652 votes – a huge 1,100 majority, while George Davies held onto his red place in Coseley East with 1,366 votes.

St Thomas’s ward also remained red, as Shaukat Ali and now Deputy Council Leader, kept his seat, polling a massive 2,143 votes, with a 1,620 majority.

Over in Sedgley, Mayor Michael Evans, was the only Tory to hang on to his seat in Dudley North, securing 1,383 votes, ahead of nearest rival UKIP’s Bill Etheridge, who polled 863 votes.

In Dudley South, Brockmoor and Pensnett, went to Labour, with John Martin – former Netherton, Woodside and St Andrew’s ward cllr, knocking out Tory Sue Greenaway, who this year has been Mayor’s Consort.

In Netherton, Woodside and St Andrew’s ward, the first Green Party councillor was elected to Dudley Council. Will Duckworth took hold of the former Tory seat, despite the party coming in last position in many other wards.

While Bryan Cotterill also regained his Quarry Bank and Dudley Wood place with the largest majority in the entire borough - taking a massive 69 per cent of the vote.

Speaking to the News about the landslide victory, Dudley North Labour MP Ian Austin, said: “I am absolutely delighted with the result. We have worked very hard all year round to get here today.

“But the hard work doesn’t stop here. We need to repay the trust the people of Dudley have placed in us by bringing forward plans to improve town centres and education across the borough.”

For a full round-up of election results from around the borough, follow the link for the homepage.