SOUTHERN Oxfordshire is set to be run by a rainbow coalition led by Lib Dems, Greens and small parties, after the Conservatives were kicked out of power.

Both South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils were taken over by a slew of minority parties at Thursday's dramatic local elections.

In South Oxfordshire (which covers Didcot and Wallingford), the largest party – the Liberal Democrats – do not even have a leader, and cannot form a majority administration even with the help of the Green Party.

Greens who formed a pact with the Lib Dems before the vote have suggested they will try to abolish the cabinet structure and only decided on two ‘co-chairs’ on Monday, ahead of crunch talks to form a new administration this weekend.

One of the Lib Dems’ two previous councillors in South, Sue Cooper, has said parties of all colours could be involved in the new administration – unlike in the Vale where her party is set to lead with a comfortable majority.

The Benson and Crowmarsh councillor did not rule out Conservative involvement in the South's new administration – but said it was unlikely.

She also revealed that her party was likely to elect Chalgrove’s David Turner as group leader at a meeting tomorrow.

Mr Turner, who confirmed he was ‘likely’ to be in charge, said the two parties, plus Labour and Henley Residents, would meet on Saturday.

Jane Murphy – the Conservative leader of SODC prior to the election, who now looks set to lead the opposition – says she has offered to work with the Lib Dems.

The Tories fell to just 10 seats last week, in what was widely considered to be a nationwide protest at the ballot box against the handling of Brexit.

That left South Oxfordshire District Council with 12 Lib Dems (10 more than at the last election), 10 Conservatives (-17), five Greens (+5) three Labour (+2) three Independents (-2) and three from the Henley Residents Group (+2).

In Vale, the Lib Dems took 31 seats (+22), Conservatives six (-23) and Greens one (+1).

Mr Turner, who has been on the council for 24 years, said: “I think the electorate would be quite pleased to see political parties co-operating.

“There will have to be compromise... different parties stood on different platforms and we have to put things together we can all sign up for.”

Mrs Cooper added: “The idea is to have a rainbow coalition. I don’t know how many parties, all that we have done in advance is agree to work with the Greens.

“Some dealing will have to be done.”

Wallingford’s Green councillor Sue Roberts, who is one of the new co-chairs, explained: “We take a very fresh approach to the way government should happen. I regard (inter-party co-operation) as grown-up politics, where we have respect for different views.

“We don’t like the cabinet positions – we would like to get rid of it.”

Dr Roberts, who is also a Green Party prospective parliamentary candidate for the Wantage constituency, added that she was not convinced the council needed a majority to function and said she did not support the Local Plan or Expressway.

Her co-chair Robin Bennett, of Berinsfield, was also positive about a coalition and said there was ‘good will across the board' – but he was personally opposed to a deal involving the Conservatives.

In the Vale (which covers Abingdon, Wantage and Faringdon), Liberal Democrat Emily Smith – who looks set to lead the council – said her cabinet's main priority would be reviewing the council budget.

She said: "The Vale is due to run out of money in four years’ time.

"We have some really good ideas about climate change, affordable housing and infrastructure but we need the financial situation a bit more under control."

Wantage’s Conservative MP Ed Vaizey, whose constituency straddles both councils, said he was saddened by the result but that his party should be ‘proud’ of their record locally.