THE recently-ousted Labour administration has admitted its support of the controversial West London Tram scheme was one of the decisive factors in losing control of the council.

Martin Beecroft, former cabinet member for finance who was one of three top councillors to lose his seat, said: "A lot of people voted against us because of the tram, and that damaged us."

Departing leader Leo Thomson echoed the view, saying: "There were issues and the tram which is not in the control of this council and has been made a big issue by the opposition was certainly one of them."

Labour have remained joint promoters of the scheme, despite mounting public and political opposition to the whole project.

Labour MP for Ealing North, Steve Pound, said: "This is a real kick in the backside but the people have spoken. You simply cannot deny the significance of the tram on voters."

The new Conservative administration has pledged to become "active opposers" of the tram and officially oppose the scheme.

They will join Hillingdon and Hammersmith and Fullham councils who both formally oppose the project.

Will French, chairman of anti-tram group Save Ealing Streets, said: "Many London boroughs saw a swing of votes away from Labour but none experienced the landslide results that happened in Ealing.

"It was the outgoing council's obstinate support for such an unpopular scheme that was the main cause of their humiliating defeat."

He added: "With all three of the affected boroughs opposing the scheme it is now time for Transport for London (TfL) to accept what Save Ealing's Streets has been telling them for the past four years this scheme is not the way to solve West London's transport problems."

New council leader Jason Stacey agreed the tram had been a bad idea.

He said: "The first act of our administration will be to reverse Labour's policy on the West London Tram.

"We strongly believe that a tram along the Uxbridge Road will be disasterous for the people of Ealing and will make congestion worse.

"Despite a clear rejection of the proposals by the people of Ealing through the public consultation, the Labour administration has supported it. This will be changed immediately."

Under the current proposals, shops will have to be demolished along the Uxbridge Road to clear the way for a series of substations and construction compounds which will power the £650m tram.

A council meeting scheduled on May 18 with Transport For London will help to establish how or if the scheme will continue, but Conservatives say they are ready to fight "all the way" to prevent it.

TfL declined to give any comment.