The leader of Hertfordshire County Council has lost his seat after the 2021 local election results were announced.

Conservative leader David Williams was narrowly beaten by Liberal Democrat candidate Paul de Kort in Harpenden North East.

Although the Conservatives were able to secure a majority of 14 overall on the county council, Mr Williams' defeat will come as huge blow to the party.

Mr Williams, who is also chairman of the national County Councils Network, polled 2,022 votes which was lower than Mr de Kort's 2,063.

There are believed to have been two recounts before the result was announced at the Batchwood Sports Centre, in St Albans.

Mr de Kort also stood for this seat in the 2017 election but lost by more than 1,000 votes.

It remains to be seen who will take over from Mr Williams as county council leader - deputy leader, Cllr Teresa Heritage successfully defended her Harpenden South West seat.

After a full set of county council elections, the Tories ended the May contest with five fewer councillors than they began with.

Despite holding many seats across the county, and gaining South Oxhey & Eastbury, London Colney, and seats in Welwyn and Hatfield from Labour, the party lost both of their seats to Labour in Borehamwood and suffered a loss to the Lib Dems in Bushey North.

The Liberal Democrats gained five seats at the elections, including Mr Williams', taking their tally to 23 and consolidating their position as the main opposition.

The party held all of its seats across the districts of Watford, Three Rivers, and St Albans.

Although the Labour party were victorious in Borehamwood and Letchworth North, and retained its presence in Watford, the party lost two seats overall at the council.

Labour leader Judi Billing tweeted she was "gutted" to lose three of her councillors, but said she was "thrilled" to welcome new representatives from Borehamwood and Letchworth.

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

New Borehamwood county councillors Michelle Vince and Richard Butler

There will be new party representation over the next four years at the county council after Green candidate Ben Crystall won the All Saints seat in Hertford, while Independent candidate Jan Maddern was elected in Hemel Hempstead South East.

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

The full set of county council results can be found on the county council website.

Final make-up of Hertfordshire County Council following 2021 elections (78 councillors in total)

Conservative - 46 (-5)

Lib Dem - 23 (+4)

Labour - 7 (-2)

Green - 1 (+1)

Independent - 1 (+1)