Cllr Terry Hipsey, the leader of Thurrock Council has defected from the Conservatives to Labour. It means that Labour and the Conservatives have 23 councillors each. There are two Independents and also a BNP councillor.

In many ways this decision sound like a relief for the Conservatives and a headache for Labour. Thurrock Council has been beset by difficulties. The Labour councillors had tabled a motion of no confidence in Cllr Hipsey. Will they now embrace them as their leader?

The local Conservatives had been worried that unpopular decisions by the Council under Cllr Hipsey command were damaging their prospects of gaining seats at the General Election.