Tunbridge Wells council leader Bob Atwood loses his seat to UKIP
TUNBRIDGE Wells Borough Council leader Bob Atwood has lost his seat to UKIP in the local elections.
Conservative Mr Atwood, who was only elected as leader in January last year, lost by just 46 votes.
He is the second cabinet member to have lost his seat this morning, after Brian Ransley was defeated by the Lib Dems in Capel.
Mr Atwood had won plaudits as leader for making the council more united after his predecessor Roy Bullock was ousted by the Tories.
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Privately the Tories were worried about a strong showing from UKIP.
Mr Atwood told the Courier last week: "It's always conceivable that I or anyone else can lose their seat. It would be fatal for any of us to take the election for granted."
Mr Atwood was defeated by Piers Wauchope, a criminal barrister and former Tory councillor in Camden. He hit the headlines in 2010 after intervening in a courtroom brawl.
UKIP now holds both Rusthall seats, after winning its first seat on the council last year.
Their shock victory leaves the Tunbridge Wells Conservatives in disarray and means the party – and the council - is looking for a second new leader in 15 months.
See next Friday's Courier for full reaction, analysis and comment.