While most political attention was distracted by events in Washington DC, two British councils changed control due to defection on Tuesday.
On Portsmouth city council, two Independent (ex-Labour) councillors who had been in coalition with the Liberal Democrats have now formally joined the Liberal Democrat group. Following the defection of Lee Hunt from the Conservatives a fortnight ago, their move gives the party majority control of the city – the first time any one party has had majority control since 2000. The two defecting councillors are Leo Madden and Jason Fazackerley, who both represent Nelson ward.
Meanwhile on Telford and Wrekin council, two councillors have left the Conservative group and joined Telford and Wrekin People’s Association. The two are George Ashcroft of Brookside ward, and Park ward’s Denis Allen (who has also joined the UK Independence Party, in protest at the reappointment of Kenneth Clarke to the shadow cabinet). The Conservatives had previously controlled the council on the Mayor’s casting vote since gaining a byelection in March 2008. The Conservative administration is likely to continue as a minority in the medium term.