THE fall-out from Ribble Valley’s Tory split last year was clear in the poor performance of the party in Thursday’s local elections.

It lost two seats in its East Lancashire stronghold as ousted former leader Ken Hind and his wife Sue were both defeated by Liberal Democrats.

The last remaining councillor from the short-lived breakaway Democratic Conservative group Robert Thompson held his Wiswell and Barrow seat as an Independent and his no-party allegiance colleague David Birtwhistle joins him on the new council.

The Lib Dems had a good day gaining six councillors – including five in Clitheroe – to increase their representation to 10.

Labour’s hopes of also gaining at the divided Conservatives expense disappeared as they lost their only councillor Maureen Fenton.

But despite losing two seats the Conservatives kept a firm hold on the borough with 28 councillors.

Lib Dem group leader Allan Knox said after the all-out elections for 40 councillors in 26 wards: “We are pleased.

"We took some big scalps.

"This could be the start of the end of the Conservative dominance of Ribble Valley Council.”

Labour agent David Hinder said: “It was a disappointing result.”

Mr Hind said: “It was a very good result for us in Ribble Valley. We maintained overall control.”