MONMOUTHSHIRE will have a Conservative-controlled county council following a dramatic count which saw casualties taken from all parties.

The party, led by re-elected Portskewett county councillor Peter Fox, finished with 25 seats - an increase of six from the previous council.

Labour finished with 10 seats - one fewer than the last council - while five Independent and three Liberal Democrat councillors were elected.

Cllr Fox, who enters his fifth term in office, said that he and his party were "over the moon" with the results.

"We're all really pleased that monmouthshire to full Conservative control," he said.

"We're being joined by some excellent new candidates."

"I also paid tribute to those who weren't successful in their re-election. They all ran clean campaigns and worked hard."

He added: "I look forward to a really exciting journey over the next five years with our plan that will work for everybody."

One of the major upsets on the night was Paul Pavia of the Conservatives ousting the Liberal Democrats' Phil Hobson in Larkfield.

Mr Hobson, who had served on the council for 13 years, was an outgoing deputy council leader and cabinet member.

He told the Argus that that recent political events had hampered his campaign despite a "positive" start.

He said: “It was going well but we noticed a big difference when the general election was called, although I don’t want to blame it entirely on that.

"Combine this with a number of things going on in the ward, a lot of dynamics, in a way it was a perfect storm."

Mr Hobson added that his duties as deputy leader had "drawn him away" form his constituents, something that he claims occurs to many in the same role.

But he said that he was "delighted" about Liberal Democrats' early gains in Caldicot and Chepstow, describing Jez Becker (St Mary's) and Jo Watkins (Caldicot Castle) as "terrific prospects".

Another high-profile casualty on the night was long-serving Conservative councillor John Prosser, who lost his Priory seat to Labour's Tudor Edgar Thomas by a margin of only three votes.

The votes had to be recounted three times, with the final standings sitting at 345 for Mr Prosser - who had been an Abergavenny county councillor for nearly a decade - and 348 for the newly-elected Cllr Thomas.

Elsewhere, Lisa Dymock confirmed her rapid rise through the Conservative Party by taking The Elms from Labour with 626 votes.

Cllr Dymock, who only joined the party two years ago, was initially "speechless" following the result.

She added: "I've been working very hard over the last few months and the support from everyone in the party has been fantastic."

Martyn Groucutt's victory meant that it was a Labour hold in Lansdown, with the new councillor claiming that he would be represented a "disenfranchised" constituency.