A top councillor says he is “absolutely” confident that the Conservatives can remain in power at Northumberland County Council – despite the party suffering electoral wipeout in the North East at the general election.

Labour won all 20 seats across Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, and County Durham on July 4.

That included a couple of seismic moments in Northumberland. Hexham, which had been Conservative for 100 years, was taken by Labour’s Joe Morris.

And in North Northumberland, Tory minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan was defeated by David Smith in another historic result.

READ MORE: County council ranked among worst local authorities as leader hits back

Former Blyth Valley MP Ian Levy, whose shock victory for the Tories in 2019 was one of the defining moments of that election, was also unseated as he failed to win in the new Cramlington and Killingworth constituency.

Despite Labour’s clean sweep across the county, Northumberland Council cabinet member Guy Renner-Thompson told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that he retained faith that the Tories could turn their fortunes around come May 2025.

Labour will be bidding to win back both Northumberland and Durham councils at the all-out elections due to be held in both counties next year.

The Tories have led Northumberland County Council since 2017, though they have not held a majority for much of that time – currently holding 33 of its 67 seats.

Asked if he had faith that his party would still be in power in Northumberland in 12 months’ time, Mr Renner-Thompson told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “Absolutely. I have been door-knocking in North Northumberland for the last few months. We are still very popular locally. The national picture is different to the local picture, I am confident we will retain control of the council.”

Mr Renner-Thompson stood in the Newcastle North constituency at the general election, finishing second behind Labour’s Catherine McKinnell.

The Bamburgh councillor, who was also the party’s candidate at the recent North East mayoral election, blamed the collapse of the Tory vote on the “natural consequence” of being in power since 2010 and the “churn” in occupants of 10 Downing Street.

He added: “Now is the time to look forward, bring stability, and get some new leadership into the party. There is not a huge desire for Labour on the doorstep, they just don’t like the Conservative Party at the moment. I think we can turn that around in the next four years and put a good showing in.”