THE Liberal Democrats have won the Hexham East by-election.

Suzanne Fairless-Aitken has been elected to serve on Northumberland County Council, securing 584 votes of the 1,235 which were cast.

In second place was Conservative candidate Stephen Ball who received 370 votes, while Labour's Jonathan Wheeler came third with 154 votes.

Independent candidate Lee Williscroft-Ferris received 127 votes.

The by-election was triggered by the resignation of Cath Homer last month.

Coun. Fairless-Aitken had previously stood in the May local elections against Ms Homer, who had been victorious by just 130 votes.

Ms Homer's resignation wiped out the Conservative Party’s majority control of Northumberland County Council. It remains the largest single political group.

34 is the minimum number needed for a party to have overall control.

The make-up of the council by party is now:

Conservative - 33

Labour - 21

Independent - 7

Liberal Democrats - 4

Green - 2

The by-election saw a turnout of 34.5%.