LABOUR registered an almost clean sweep in Thursday's Darwen Town Council elections with 12 of its 13 candidates voted in.

Only Conservative Steve Duncan in the Darwen South Rural ward formerly held by retiring Liberal Democrat John East broke the party's stranglehold on the parish authority.

In an all-out election Tories Kevin Connor, Lilian Salton and Neil Slater were swept out of Darwen South ward.

Former Liberal Democrats Paul Browne and Mark Davies failed to get re-elected in Darwen East standing as Independents.

Darwen West ward's Labour town and borough councillor Dave Smith said: "It was an excellent result.

"It surpassed out expectations.

"We made some promised in out election leaflets which we intend to keep.

"They include no increase in the town council council tax precept; extra help for parks and friends community groups; keeping Darwen Live a free event; and promoting and improving the town and its heritage assets."

Mr Browne said: "The results reflected the way the people wanted to vote. They are sending a warning out to the Tories for the general election."

Blackburn with Darwen Conservative borough councillor Mr Connor said: "It was a terrible result.

"I think we were judged on national issues rather than local ones.

"I think we did well for the town and leave the the town council in a better state.

"This result leaves our Conservative MP Jake Berry on very thin ice but I think he has done well for the town including help get the Darwen Town Deal and I certainly hope this will be reflected when people come to vote in the general election."

In Darwen East ward the Labour town councillors elected were Julie Dugan, Matthew Gibson. Martin McCaughran, and Mark Westall.

In Darwen South they were Liam Dobson, Paul O'Garr, Anthony Shaw, and Sue Skipper.

In Darwen West the Labour councillors elected were Stephanie Brookfield, Jonathan Hamer, Dave Smith and Brian Taylor.