Conservatives have taken overall control of Colchester Council for the first time in 21 years following a high-profile defection.

Former mayor and Lib Dem group leader Terry Sutton has crossed the floor with his son, Craig, to become Conservatives.

It gives the group 32 councillors out of 60 on the authority, and overall control for the first time since 1986.

Both Terry and Craig Sutton have pledged to stand for re-election in their Berechurch ward for the Conservatives when their term of office expires.

Terry Sutton said: "It has taken me a great deal of time to deliberate and think about crossing the floor.

"Matters have been festering within the Lib Dem group for some number of years. My personal falling out with the Lib Dem Member of Parliament for Colchester is well known.

"His latest outburst over the community stadium made me question whether he was fit to continue as MP for Colchester."

Leader Robert Davidson said: "I am delighted to have people of Terry's standing to work with us to continue improving the town."

Colchester MP Bob Russell said: "Individuals must do what they think is right. I can go to bed tonight with a clear conscience."

The Conservatives have been running the council for three years, albeit under a minority administration.

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