SENIOR Tory Anna Waite has been booted off Southend Council following a crushing defeat which saw her pushed into third place.

Independent Paul Van Looy stormed to victory in St Luke's ward with a whopping majority and the Labour candidate Anne Jones in second.

Mrs Waite, who was the councillor responsible for housing and social care, and has been a controversial figure on the council, gained just 574 votes and left before the results were announced.

Mrs Waite's defeat came five years after she was kicked off the council while serving as council leader.

The Tories maintained control of the council following yesterday's poll.

As well as losing St Luke's, the controlling party lost Shoebury to an Independent councillor.

However, the Tories took two seats from the Lib Dems, in Blenheim and St Laurence ward in a shock win by Adam Jones over sitting Lib Dem Carole Roast.

The results show the Independents have growing support, having taken Shoebury and St Luke's and others, including Ron Woodley in Thorpe, receiving huge majorities.

The Lib Dems election results mirrored the national picture.

The party lost Blenheim Park ward, one of their safest seats, in addition to St Laurence.

In both cases, it is likely a rise in the Labour vote took votes from the Lib Dems, allowing the Tories to take the seats.

Labour retained Victoria ward, where mayor elect David Norman was re-elected and Judy McMahon retained the Kursaal seat for Labour following the retirement of Stephen George.