Ukip make gains in English local elections

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A JUBILANT Nigel Farage today insisted Ukip will be “serious players” at the General Election after the party landed major blows on the Tories and Labour in local polls across England.

Mr Farage predicted his party could hoover up 200 extra council seats by the end of the day – and said European election results due on Monday could be even better.

Pointing to significant wins in Essex and areas such as Rotherham, he said: “The Ukip fox is in the Westminster hen house”.

Ukip made gains at the expense of all three main UK parties, taking 86 seats. The Tories lost 100 seats in overnight counting and the Lib Dems 92. But Labour made 101 gains, doing particularly well in London, where it won the former Tory stronghold of Hammersmith and Fulham, described as David Cameron’s favourite borough. Labour also took control of Cambridge.

The party failed to secure control of councils in places like Thurrock, considered crucial for a General Election victory.

But shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander insisted Labour could win the General Election based on the results coming in overnight from key battleground seats.