TORIES in Selby were celebrating today after taking control following the district council elections - and adding to a night of misery for Labour in York and North and East Yorkshire.

The Conservatives secured 23 of the 41 seats in Selby to return to power after a gap of eight years.

In Ryedale, Labour's last remaining councillor was ousted as the Conservative's 13 seats made them the leading party.

But they failed again to gain overall control with the Liberal Democrats winning eight seats - an increase of three on the last campaign.

In Selby, Labour lost four of its 18 seats - including that of council leader Dean Howson, as Tory champagne corks popped at Selby's Abbey Leisure Centre.

The remaining seats went to three independents and a Liberal Democrat.

The Conservatives immediately promised an end to soaring council tax increases and pledged to spend more money on youth facilities.

The count at Selby was one of the longest in the country, with the result announced almost six hours after the first ballot boxes arrived.

Campaigning couple Di and Howard Keal were swept on to Ryedale District Council in the Norton East and West wards, which today has 13 Tory councillors, eight Liberal Democrats, seven Independents and two Liberals.

But Labour's Gary Hobbs announced his retirement from politics after losing his seat in Kirkbymoorside - by just four Tory votes.

Elsewhere, the Conservatives easily kept control of Hambleton District Council, holding on to 36 seats.

Of the remaining councillors, three are Liberal Democrat, four are Independent and Labour has one representative.

In Harrogate, the Tories overtook the Liberal Democrats to take 27 seats, compared with the Lib Dem 25 and two independents - leaving no party in overall control.

East Riding of Yorkshire is also a hung council, with the Tories on 28 seats, 20 for the Lib Dems, eight for Labour, six Independents and two SDP.

In Scarborough, the Mayor elect, Labour's Eileen Vickers, who was due to take office, was defeated. The Tories took overall control of the borough council, with 27 seats out of 50. There are also 13 Independents, eight Labour and two Liberal Democrats.

Click here to view the election results in full

Updated: 10:37 Friday, May 02, 2003