BRENTWOOD Tory MP Eric Pickles has backed his party to regain control of the town’s council next year - and was full of support for ousted leader Louise McKinlay.

Ms McKinlay, leader of the Brentwood Tory group, lost her position as leader of Brentwood Borough Council following a disastrous night at the polls for her party two weeks ago when the Conservatives lost control of the council for first time in a decade.

Mr Pickles said people should never count on their vote in politics, but was confident the next 11 months would see his party take back over.

He said: “It is clear that Louise has a lot of support within the party and is a sound leader.

“I have every faith in her.

“In the wards, Brentwood West was very close. Shenfield came very close as well. In a way the battle between the Conservatives and Brentwood First was in South Weald which we won.”

Opposition parties took four seats from the Tories to leave them with no overall control.

A four-way coalition, consisting of the Lib Dems, Labour, Brentwood First and independent Roger Keeble have now taken control of the council, with Lib Dem leader Barry Aspinell expected to be appointed leader next week.

Mr Pickles added his party now has to get out on the streets and convince voters they should be leading the way in the town.

He said: “My view is that the Conservatives need to concentrate on the things that really matters to people, which is ensuring council services are effective and get done.”